/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. comment-avatar

    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

    • comment-avatar


      June 26, 2018 at 6:32 pm Reply

      How many years did you smoke?

  2. comment-avatar


    October 16, 2017 at 2:52 pm Reply

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

    • comment-avatar


      May 10, 2018 at 8:36 am Reply

      Yes cigar smokers won’t get lung cancer because the don’t inhale but you can still get throat/mouth cancer.

  3. comment-avatar

    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

    • comment-avatar


      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.

    • comment-avatar

      John dudley

      June 4, 2018 at 6:17 pm Reply

      Use chantex. It works but you have to want to quite

    • comment-avatar


      June 7, 2018 at 4:28 pm Reply

      Bro Start smoking weed.
      You might get Skinny but won’t die yet.

    • comment-avatar

      Shalako Duff

      June 16, 2018 at 1:53 pm Reply

      Look the best thing some one ever told me to do was go to Colorado don’t buy any cigarettes for 3 or 4 months just pot after that 30 more days the pot will be out of your system ask a friend to smoke a cigarette near you after this I guarantee you will or almost vomit from just the smell you will never want one again

    • comment-avatar


      June 16, 2018 at 10:42 pm Reply

      30 year smoker quit 6 months ago. It can be done. I was exactly like you. Scared didn’t want to say goodbye to my dark friend. Feels like cutting off a limb.
      You can do it.
      I used champix for the first month
      Also used Nicolette spray for the panic attacks and the Nicolette mints. It’s all helps. But you have to keep busy. Find distractions. Wants a smoke. Go brush your teeth, vacuum. Distract distract distract. The desire to smoke doesn’t go away but becomes manageable and far less intense. And your confidence grows daily when you hit goals. I use an app to calculate how much money I’ve saved, days without smoking and cigarettes NOT smoked. Take it day by day. To date I havent smoked 3432 cigarettes

      • comment-avatar

        Kandi M Barnes

        July 5, 2018 at 10:20 am Reply

        14-year smoker here. This is very encouraging. I’m at the fear of quitting phase (feel like I’m losing a friend). Wonderful advice. My only child is getting married and I definitely want to be around and be healthy for my grandkids. Continued success to you.

        • comment-avatar


          July 10, 2018 at 7:19 pm Reply

          I started smoking when I was 17 back in 2005 I quit in 2012 I haven’t picked up a cigarette since then and I’ll be 30 in August best way I quit is telling myself I can’t see myself in the next 15 or 20 years with a cigarette in my hand the first few days was the hardest but you can do it as for anyone once I quit the first day I never picked up a cigarette again. After the first couple weeks I started dreaming that I was smoking a cigarette and I woke up terrified that I thought I had smoke one but I really didn’t Following that dream I could never even think that I would pick up a cigarette again and I also had fear of letting myself down if I couldn’t quit cigarettes something that was hindering me what else could I not overcome other than cigarettes point I’m making is self motivation in control is key when deciding to quit after after about 2 or 3 months I have no urge of ever picking up a cigarette again i feel healthier and happier hope you well

    • comment-avatar


      June 19, 2018 at 11:55 am Reply

      Number you really have to want to, I started taking the chantix and it is really helping me, the urge does come for a cig but it’s not overwhelming like in the past when I tried to quit. I’m on my 3rd day without smoking and I’m doing ok so far.

    • comment-avatar

      Jon jerimiah

      July 10, 2018 at 7:10 pm Reply

      Get nicotine gum and try that. If that doesn’t work go to your doctor and get a prescription for this pill called chantix. It helps to stop the cravings.
      If you get the nicotine gum make sure that you read the instructions on how to use it.

      I smoked for 20 years. I quit 20 years ago. I used the nicotine gum. I chewed the nicotine gum for about 5 years then I finally got off of it. I have never gone back to smoking.

      Dont vape it’s bad for you too.

  4. comment-avatar

    Karen Cossu

    November 6, 2017 at 6:27 pm Reply

    very good

  5. comment-avatar


    November 18, 2017 at 4:20 am Reply

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

  6. comment-avatar


    December 26, 2017 at 2:44 pm Reply

    What r the ways to clean the bronchioles sir??

    • comment-avatar


      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.

    • comment-avatar


      January 9, 2018 at 5:18 pm Reply

      Drinking lots of water

  7. comment-avatar


    January 10, 2018 at 1:36 pm Reply

    does vaping still stop tar from ridding your body?

  8. comment-avatar


    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

  9. comment-avatar


    June 10, 2018 at 6:29 am Reply

    My ex boyfriend is 15 and coughing up black sliva I’m 14 and I don’t know how to help him he been a heavy smoker for the past 2 years he’s also a heavy drinker he said that he has a lung infection and organ failure I don’t know what to do to stop him from dieing.

  10. comment-avatar

    Stephanie Sorensen

    June 12, 2018 at 10:33 pm Reply

    For anyone that comes across this post. I smoked for 35 years its bern 5 days now with NO CIGARETTES but Im using the vapor cig when I have a craving it seems to help a lot..just dont inhale it as much asca cigarette..anyways 3 of my closest friends are smokers one died from Esophageal cancer, one is currently being treated for COPD ,and another one just died from lung disease emphysema he also lost a leg and could not walk atvsll had to have oxygen 24 7..It is so,so sad…and scared me a lot..cigs are horrible hard habit to kick..DONT START SMOKING

    • comment-avatar


      June 16, 2018 at 10:45 pm Reply

      Good luck. You can do it.
      Also try Nicorret spray.
      Helps with the panic attacks.
      I’m 6 months free and it can be done.

      Ex 30 year smoker

  11. comment-avatar

    Andy scott

    June 15, 2018 at 12:46 pm Reply

    Ive smoked for 30yrs.6mths ago i decided id had enough and just stopped.it was hard for couple days but after that i was fine.im amazed how easily ive done it.wish i had yrs ago.i think if you want something bad enough you will beat it.good luck

  12. comment-avatar

    Linda LaBossiere Barger

    July 10, 2018 at 6:25 pm Reply

    I was recently diagnosed with COPD. The doctor said “It looked like I had smoked all my life. I am still am not sure that it is not Black Lung as I worked at a coal power plant for years.” I was around asbestos, coal dirt and arsnic. I pray that I can get well or that it does not get any worse. I hope to get proper treatment to get whatever it is under control. The doctor said “It was COPD, but the final report has not come back yet from Martinsberg, West Virginia.

  13. comment-avatar


    July 10, 2018 at 9:55 pm Reply

    I Started smoking when I was 17 and I quit back in 2012 and I have not picked up one since then I will be 30 in August I quit because I said to myself I couldn’t see me smoking a cigarette 15 or 20 years from now the first few days after I quit was the hardest but anyone can do it after a few weeks I had dreams that I smoke and woke up terrified thinking that I had but I didn’t it is hard but anyone can do it I had fear of letting myself down thinking that if I cannot overcome smoking something that was hindering what else could I not overcome other than cigarettes that may hinder me and the point I’m making is that motivation and self-control is key for someone who wants to quit after the first two or three months of quitting I had no urge to ever pick up a cigarette again I feel healthier and happier hope all well

Leave A Comment