The Early You Quit Smoking The Better For Your Lungs


All of us are quite aware of the ill effects of Cigarette smoking to our health. Here is some information that you may consider as a bit of good news particularly if you’ve started smoking recently.

Experts say that if a smoker quits smoking, his/ her lungs do heal to a certain extent.


Well, as per the experts when you inhale the smoke of a cigar or cigarette, it causes inflammation and irritation of the lung’s delicate lining. Our lungs are lined with tiny hairs called cilia. After smoking, even upto several hours the brush like movement of cilia is slowed down because smoking causes temporary paralysis to them. Now, this in turn makes their job of cleaning the mucus and other substances like dust particles from the lung airways comparatively ineffective.

Furthermore, there is also an increase in production and thickness of mucus in the lungs of smokers. The inability of the cilia to chuck of the mucus out of the lungs leads to accumulation of the mucus within the lung airbags, thereby choking them and thus leading to cough issues. If smoking persists it can also lead to chronic bronchitis, a kind of lung infection.

The short term inflammation caused by smoking can be reversed once you quit smoking. Though, initially for a few weeks post quitting, you may experience more coughing issues than you ever had while smoking. But, consider this as a positive signal is what experts say. You cough when the lungs are cleaning up your gunk which means that your cilia is again active and on the job of cleaning of mucus, from the airbags of your lungs.

Gradually, the breathing improves and swelling decreases as the lining of the lungs is no longer exposed to the irritants produced due to smoke. The decrease in swelling also aids in regulating the airflow through the passageways.

Statistically speaking, 10 years after you quit smoking, your chances of getting lung cancer are practically reduced to half. This does mean that there is always a risk because once upon a time you were a smoker but the 50% reduction in its possibility is off course a great consideration to quit smoking.

Having said that, one fact that which needs a mention is that not everyone’s lungs get functioning normally once they quit smoking. It actually depends on the number of packets you have been smoking and the number of years you have been doing so. The term is known as pack years and in simple words, the greater the number of pack years, the greater the damage or to put it the other way, lesser the irreversibility. Further, Lung cancer is most likely to occur amongst smokers and ex-smokers and not amongst non smokers.

So, if you’ve started smoking recently, quitting seems a smart idea. And if you have been smoking for a long time, it definitely is a wake up call to call smoking quits.

World NO Tobacco day “Awareness Initiative” and No Tobacco Day Conducted by RRMCH