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Doctor insights on: How Long After You Quit Smoking Do Your Lungs Heal

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Dr. Philip Gilly
Board Certified, Addiction Medicine
34 years in practice
210K people helped
1

1
How long does it take to get healthy lungs after you quit smoking?

Dr. Philip Gilly
Board Certified, Addiction Medicine
34 years in practice
210K people helped
How long does it take to get healthy lungs after you quit smoking?

Many benefits ...: Benefits to giving up smoking: within 20 mins, blood pressure and heart rate decrease; within 12 hrs, carbon monoxide blood levels normalize; within 48 hrs, the sense of smell and taste start recovering; within 3 mos, circulation and lung function improve; within 9 mos, there is less coughing and shortness of breath; within 1 yr, the risk of coronary heart disease is cut in half. Need i say more? ...Read more

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Dr. William Forsythe
Board Certified
22 years in practice
170K people helped
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Dr. William Forsythe
Board Certified
22 years in practice
170K people helped
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Dr. Heidi Fowler
800 doctors shared insights

Quit Smoking (Definition)

Quitting smoking is the single most important decision smokers can make to improve their health. Preparing a quit-smoking plan and enlisting support from your doctor and your loved ones can greatly improve your chances of success. Your doctor can help you decide if over-the-counter or prescription medications can help. Pick a quit day a few weeks ahead and put it on your calendar. Plan how you're going deal with situations that make you want to smoke. Take advantage of support from family, friends, and co-workers, and consider joining a smoking cessation program so that you don't ...Read more


Dr. M. Jay Petruska
Board Certified, Family Medicine
27 years in practice
1M people helped
2

2
How long will your lungs take to clean themselves after you quit smoking?

Dr. M. Jay Petruska
Board Certified, Family Medicine
27 years in practice
1M people helped

Smoking: It varies, but way take any chances, it is best to quit right now! ...Read more

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Dr. William Forsythe
Board Certified
22 years in practice
170K people helped
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Dr. William Forsythe
Board Certified
22 years in practice
170K people helped
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Dr. Larry Maturani
Board Certified, Hospital-based practice
19 years in practice
308K people helped
3

3
After you quit smoking how long does it take for your lungs to fully clean up?

Dr. Larry Maturani
Board Certified, Hospital-based practice
19 years in practice
308K people helped
After you quit smoking how long does it take for your lungs to fully clean up?

Tremendous Incentive: After one year off cigarettes, your cardiac risk decreases is less than 1/2 of smoker, 5 years risk of cva decreases, 10 yrs, risk of lung cancer drops to 30 to 50% and 15 yrs, cardiac risk is same as if never smoked. Your lungs will never fully clean themselves as you say but your overall health will be greatly improved. ...Read more

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Dr. Alan Wartenberg
Board Certified, Addiction Medicine
44 years in practice
6M people helped
4

4
I recently quit smoking and I have already notice an improvement. How long does it take lungs to repair?

Dr. Alan Wartenberg
Board Certified, Addiction Medicine
44 years in practice
6M people helped
I recently quit smoking and I have already notice an improvement. How long does it take lungs to repair?

Depends: On how long and how heavy you were smoking, as well as individual susceptibility to damage, which varies considerably. Some people smoke heavily and do relatively little damage, others smoke much less and get a great deal of damage. In general, the lungs clean themselves out in 3 months or so. ...Read more

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Dr. William Forsythe
Board Certified
22 years in practice
170K people helped
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Dr. Loki Skylizard
Board Certified, Thoracic Surgery
15 years in practice
1M people helped
5

5
When you quit smoking how long does it take for ur lungs to go back to almost normal? I quit about 4 months ago and what symptoms would i feel ?

Dr. Loki Skylizard
Board Certified, Thoracic Surgery
15 years in practice
1M people helped
When you quit smoking how long does it take for ur lungs to go back to almost normal? I quit about 4 months ago and what symptoms would i feel ?

Some links: Studies: http://goo.Gl/okzop review: http://goo.Gl/zbki6 popular press: http://goo.Gl/zgea0 be well, respect yourself. ...Read more

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Dr. James Rotchford
Board Certified, Addiction Medicine
36 years in practice
948K people helped
6

6
I quit smoking.I smoked for 4 years year 1=1-2 a week.Year 2&3=6-7 a day.Year 4=max of 9 a day.Can my lungs return to pink and how long can it take?

Dr. James Rotchford
Board Certified, Addiction Medicine
36 years in practice
948K people helped
I quit smoking.I smoked for 4 years year 1=1-2 a week.Year 2&3=6-7 a day.Year 4=max of 9 a day.Can my lungs return to pink and how long can it take?

It depends: The party line is that risks from having smoked go back pretty close to baseline after 6 months tobacco free. This implies the lungs are more or less normal. This would be particularly true at your age. I suggest that patients continue to use a nicotine replacement for at least six months particularly if it helps them feel better. ...Read more

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Dr. Robert Fietsam
Board Certified, Thoracic Surgery
30 years in practice
487K people helped
7

7
What happens if you've quit smoking at 25 years old. about how long will your lungs take to get back to where they were?

Dr. Robert Fietsam
Board Certified, Thoracic Surgery
30 years in practice
487K people helped
What happens if you've quit smoking at 25 years old. about how long will your lungs take to get back to where they were?

Maybe 5-8 years: It is hard to find research on that particular issue, but there are tests that a Pulmonary Specialist can perform (FEV1, lung capacity, arterial blood gases), that could check how good your lungs currently are. For long time smokers, 10-15 years to reduce risk of lung cancer to normal population. ...Read more

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Dr. Randy Baker
Board Certified, Holistic Medicine
35 years in practice
21M people helped
8

8
I am 38 years old. I have smoked since i was 18 years oldand i quit smoking one day ago. Chantix helped me stop but is it too late for my lungs to heal?

Dr. Randy Baker
Board Certified, Holistic Medicine
35 years in practice
21M people helped
I am 38 years old. I have smoked since i was 18 years oldand i quit smoking one day ago. Chantix helped me stop but is it too late for my lungs to heal?

Not too late!: Congratulations! our bodies have a remarkable ability to heal. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables (ideally organic) will help speed the healing process. A good multivitamin may help as well. Here is a good timetable of the healing process after one quits: http://whyquit.Com/whyquit/a_benefits_time_table.Html. ...Read more

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Dr. Milton Mintz
Board Certified, Geriatrics
62 years in practice
2M people helped
9

9
I quit smoking for two years now i smoked a pack a day for 18 years by quiting can my lungs heal?

Dr. Milton Mintz
Board Certified, Geriatrics
62 years in practice
2M people helped

some damage done: Don't ever make it worse by more smoking. ...Read more

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Dr. Douglas Arenberg
Board Certified, Pulmonary Critical Care
26 years in practice
938K people helped
10

10
The doctors have always said that my lungs would heal back up once i finally quit smoking and i did. Is what the doctor said not true then?

Dr. Douglas Arenberg
Board Certified, Pulmonary Critical Care
26 years in practice
938K people helped

The fire is out: Now you need to rebuild. Stopping smoking is like putting out a house fire. The house is still burned, and some of it can be rebuilt. That takes months to years depending upon how you measure lung function. Some damage cannot be undone, but it can definitely be worse if you keep smoking. Congrats on accomplishing the single best thing you could to improve your short and long term health. ...Read more

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Smoking (Definition)

More than 46 million, nearly 21% of adults in the United States, smoke, according to a 2010 report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Smoking rates remained constant from 2005 - 2009. Smoking kills more than 5 million people a year worldwide, accounting for 1 out of ...Read more


Dr. Dean Giannone
599 doctors shared insights

Tobacco Cessation (Definition)

Tobacco cessation programs provide support and medical services to those seeking to stop ...Read more


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Dr. William Forsythe
Board Certified,
22 years in practice
170K people helped
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