Will my lungs recover from smoking?
September 30, 2005 7:40 PM Subscribe
Do one's lungs recover from past smoking? How long does it take?
posted by attercoppe to health & fitness (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I used to smoke, on and off, for almost a decade. At times I would be up to a pack a day for maybe a week at a time, but typically I smoked about a pack a week, lights or ultra lights. I have quit (again) within the last few months, and really don't plan on starting again this time. (I have always been able to quit "cold turkey", and always started again as a social thing, same reason as the first time.) I have recently moved to the mountains, and in addition to the higher altitude/thinner air, I am becoming much more involved in outdoor activites - biking especially, also walking/hiking, and skiing and kayaking coming soon. I find myself short of breath rather quickly when exerting myself - some of this is the fact that I am a little out of shape, some of it is continuing acclimation to the altitude, but I think much of it is the damage I have done to my lungs by smoking. I remember a film from probably grade school that explained that once one stops smoking, one's lungs will begin to recover somewhat, though not to full capacity again. Is this true? Will I eventually recover my lost lung capacity? What sort of time frame am I looking at? Pointers to studies and data, as well as personal experiences, are welcome. (And no, this does not need to be a thread condemming and/or defending smoking, thank you.)