On various health-related television programs, Instagram and the like, there seem to be many pictures and videos comparing healthy lungs to those of smokers.
As you know, the lungs of smokers appear rather dark and unhealthy compared to normal light and pink lungs of non-smokers. In certain markets, these images are also included directly on the surface of cigarette packs to address the dangers of cigarettes.
But when a smoker quits, will their lungs return to a clean, purified state? Are there ways for smokers to purify or purify their lungs? And how long does it take? This time we are going to introduce you to what happens to the lungs after you start quitting.
Will my lungs heal after I quit smoking?
Is there any way that smoking-darkened lungs will repair themselves if you stop smoking? First, the human lungs are originally light pink due to the number of capillaries available and the plentiful supply of blood. When a smoker inhales cigarette smoke, the tar and other toxins it contains begin to cover their lungs, eventually turning them blackish. The lungs can be said to have become “clean” when they return from this to their original pink state.
How long does it take for the lungs to recover? It is said that it can take about seven years for a smoker to quit for good, for their lungs to be a cleaner color again. Although the positive effects of smoking cessation on physical fitness will appear soon after you quit, because the lungs are organs that are directly damaged by tobacco, it will take a long time to heal.
To make this process easier, there are several natural ways to detoxify your lungs, including:
- Change your diet by eating more antioxidant-rich vegetables like artichokes, broccoli, red beans, spinach. plus fruits like apples, blueberries, plums, and grapes; and drink green tea.
- Exercise more and try to achieve at least 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity (e.g., jogging, swimming) four to five times a week. Not only can yoga and breathing exercises help improve lung function, but they can also help counteract the stress of quitting.
- Make sure the indoor air quality of your house or apartment is as high as possible by using an air conditioner / purifier equipped with a HEPA filter.
“Clean” and “healthy” lungs mean different things
As mentioned above, it can take more than 7 years for your lungs to become cleaner. However, this does not mean that the lungs, once blackened by smoke, are now pink, pure and thoroughly cleansed. In addition, even as the lungs begin to purify themselves, the risk of lung cancer and other smoke-related diseases has not necessarily gone away.
It is said that it takes around 10 years to quit smoking for smokers to return to a similar risk of disease as non-smokers. This is of course influenced by many factors such as: B. the number of years you have smoked and how much you have smoked.
You can actually estimate how long it would take for your lungs to get cleaner using the following formula:
Number of packs smoked in one day X number of years X 2
So if you’ve smoked at the rate of 1 pack a day for 10 years, it will take 20 years for your lungs to become much healthier. Pinker lungs look healthy at first, but getting rid of tobacco toxins completely is not that easy – especially if they have been coated with toxins over several years or decades.
Another important factor is the age at which you started smoking. Since the lungs are still forming until your mid-twenties, you may have slowed their growth if you started smoking by the age of 21.
“Cleaned lungs” are not “non-smoking lungs”
While it takes time for the lungs to heal and for the risk of disease to return to levels similar to that of non-smokers, there is some bad news: the damage caused is most likely permanent. Even if you quit smoking and do your best to be healthy, the lungs of people who have smoked in the past will not fully return to their original state.
So does this mean you shouldn’t bother quitting when you are older? Not at all. A study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that people age 70 and older who currently smoked were more than three times more likely to die than non-smokers, while former smokers were less likely to die the earlier they quit. Even if your lungs don’t necessarily return to their original state, once you stop smoking, the overall risk factors associated with smoking will decrease – regardless of your age.
Cleansing the lungs takes a very long time, 10 years or more. Even if your lungs get much cleaner over time, they won’t fully recover. However, if you keep smoking, your lungs will only continue to be damaged. Please keep this point in mind and keep yourself motivated to quit smoking.
Once you begin your smoking cessation plan, your body begins to reset and heal. Let’s remember the image of the smoker’s lungs when you run the risk of falling off the cart.