/Smoker’s Lungs and How to Save Them
Smoker’s Lungs and How to Save Them 2017-10-11T13:40:37+00:00

Smoker’s Lungs and How to Save Them

Most people know that smoking is really bad for your health. It affects nearly every organ in your body and increases your risk of developing various diseases, the risks of which go up the longer you smoke. But the one part of your body that is arguably the most affected by smoking is your lungs. Let’s take a closer look at what exactly a smoking habit does to your lungs.


Changes in Appearance

Because they’re continually pumped up with oxygen, normal and healthy lungs are plump and pink. They may not be pretty to look at, but they’re clean and pure. However, you can instantly recognize a smoker’s lungs on sight. Smokers’ lungs are black. The black color is because every time you inhale a cigarette, it deposits tar in your lungs. Over time and after smoking lots of cigarettes every day, enough tar deposits build up inside the bronchioles until it is distributed throughout the entire lungs. On top of that, you may have separate dark spots from smoking related pollution, too.

Although it’s not as visible to the naked eye, there are a lot of tiny changes inside your lungs, too. Your lungs have little hair-like structures called cilia, which act like gentle brushes to move particles through your lungs and help you to breathe better. But smoking ultimately damages off those cilia, so you don’t get the same benefits they offered. The cilia rest overnight when you don’t smoke, but eventually that damage can become permanent.

The Dreaded “Smoker’s Cough”

You’re probably familiar with the sound of an older person who has smoked for many years because they have a distinctive hacking cough, often called the “smoker’s cough.”  The smoker’s cough doesn’t just sound unpleasant – it’s also very uncomfortable for the one doing the coughing. The chemicals in smoke, like hydrogen cyanide, irritate the lining of your bronchial passages and cause inflammation that leads to coughing.

Your lungs do work to try to remove the tar you inhale by smoking, by moving it out of the lungs through the bronchiole tubes and up into the trachea. But nicotine paralyzes the cilia, so that causes the coughing because your lungs have to work that much harder. Whatever irritants you can cough up comes out in the form of phlegm.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Imagine never feeling like you can get enough air into your lungs, and how hard that would make it for you to breathe. That’s exactly what happens if you have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, which is a serious illness that’s believed to be caused by cigarette smoking. Other conditions, particularly certain jobs like coal mining or working in an environment with very bad air quality, can also lead to COPD.

Emphysema is sometimes referred to as a separate illness from COPD, but emphysema is actually an early stage of the other disease and refers to changes that are occurring within the lungs. Emphysema and chronic bronchitis are both associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and symptoms feel like extreme shortness of breath, wheezing, being unable to catch your breath and intense coughing.  Ultimately, COPD is really bad news, because it almost always gets gradually worse and results in death.

Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is the biggest bad news you can get when you’re a smoker. Although some cases of lung cancer can be caused by other factors, like exposure to radon, asbestos and radiation, the vast majority of cases of lung cancer happen to smokers or people who live with smokers. According to the American Lung Association, about 85 to 90 percent of people with lung cancer are current or former smokers.

Although lung cancer can be somewhat treatable when caught in the early stages, it’s often undiscovered until it’s too late because the symptoms are mistaken for allergies or other chronic respiratory symptoms associated with smoking.

Recovering Your Breath

Your lungs provide the literal breath of life, and they can do a lot to regenerate themselves when they’re exposed to damage. But a regular smoking habit really takes a major toll on your lungs, and in many cases your lungs just can’t overcome the amount of damage. The good news is that your body has a big capacity to heal, and the sooner you quit smoking, the sooner you reduce the risk of damage to your lungs.


  1. Tammy Spoon
    Tammy Spoon October 16, 2017 at 4:52 am - Reply

    Im on the patch to help me stop smoking. The dr said my lungs are black. Im really trying and im scared

  2. Carole
    Carole October 16, 2017 at 2:52 pm - Reply

    My husband says he doesn’t inhale and his lungs are clear. Is that possible?

  3. Dil nawaz khan
    Dil nawaz khan October 17, 2017 at 6:20 am - Reply

    I really want to stop smoking but how just help me someone to stop smoking please I was trying many time and I promise myself I will not smoke anymore but I can’t do it please save my life and help me stop smoking I am married I have to kids and I want to stay longer with them

    • Meet
      Meet January 12, 2018 at 10:25 pm - Reply

      Just think about your family rather than smoking cigrattes if you wanna smoke. Then start vaping there is no nicotine . Dont touch cig from tomorrow whenever you feel like smoking a cig. Just divert your mind elsewhere and start exercising.

  4. Karen Cossu
    Karen Cossu November 6, 2017 at 6:27 pm - Reply

    very good

  5. Shrey
    Shrey November 18, 2017 at 4:20 am - Reply

    How much time does is take to remove tar stored frm ganja(marijuana)

  6. G.one
    G.one December 26, 2017 at 2:44 pm - Reply

    What r the ways to clean the bronchioles sir??

    • Js
      Js January 1, 2018 at 5:10 am - Reply

      Honey, eat honey and place honey in tea and water. Nothing you can do because the damage is forever. Depending on how bad and how long you had smoked all anyone will tell you is that quitting now is the best and most likely of gaining at least 3 years back to your life. Honey is not a cure but it works to clean your lungs by helping you cough.

    • James
      James January 9, 2018 at 5:18 pm - Reply

      Drinking lots of water

  7. emma
    emma January 10, 2018 at 1:36 pm - Reply

    does vaping still stop tar from ridding your body?

  8. Edmund
    Edmund March 4, 2018 at 2:44 pm - Reply

    Last week on my way to work I decided that I wasn’t going to buy anymore cigarettes with no planning at all. Day 2 of not smoking seems like it was the worst (at least I hope) there was times my face felt flushed,I broke out in sweats and my mind would try to convince me it is ok to just have one. It is extremely difficult to get through and you will go crazy but through my cravings I just kept telling myself how I want to be able to breath

Leave A Comment