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How long does it take for your body to heal/recover after smoking cigarettes?

By February 13, 2009 - 2:19pm
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I quit smoking nearly 10 years ago after nearly 20 years of smoking almost a pack a day.

I read somewhere that it takes the body a very long time to "heal" itself after all that poison in the system which is a bit disappointing after all the work it takes to quit.

does anyone know if the body ever really recovers from a 20 year smoking habit? I was under 35 when I quit.

thank you

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EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

thanks i will try that i feel like im going crazy and i want off these ativans the doctor has me on so i will try what you have suggested and againthanks so much

May 29, 2016 - 6:24pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Hi - I stopped after 25 years too (50 cigs a day by the end) almost exactly the same time as you. I have been taking Glutamine, multi-vitamins, vitamin C and Omega three and find the really help. In the last month I am suddenly feeling my brain is really getting back to normal and lungs are starting to really work. I hope you have the same!

January 16, 2016 - 2:52pm
EmpowHER Guest

Hey so I wanted to know a couple of things.
I've smoked cigarettes for alosmt three years, about 7-8 a day, maybe more. However I feel things in my body the way they shouldn't be. One day after a good cannabis session and a few cigarettes, my right hand felt really weak and I couldn't move it. At all. And there was no control in my fingers. And it wasn't really a bad trip.
Apart from that, my toes look a litte bent and I can barely sit cross legged anymore for more than a few minutes. And there are times when I can feel the pulse and blood flow in my legs. Is it possible that my veins and arteries are clogged or something?
What can I do someone tell me? I'm only 20 and there's a lot I wanna live for.

June 26, 2015 - 5:49am
Guide (reply to Anonymous)

Hi Anonymous,

The best advice is quit and start today.

Listen to your body. It is giving you warning signs.

Smoking 7 to 8 cigarettes a day for almost three years has damaged your blood vessels and is reducing the amount of oxygen that reaches your body's tissues.
Cigarette smokers are two to four times more likely to develop coronary heart disease, or CHD, than nonsmokers. They are more than ten times as likely as nonsmokers to develop peripheral vascular disease, or PVD.

Cigarette smoking produces a greater risk for coronary heart disease in people younger than age 50. It doubles a person's risk for stroke.


June 26, 2015 - 8:16am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Maryann Gromisch RN)

Maryann, I think I forgot to mention I have left smoking for three weeks now. I am aware of pvd and I think I already might have developed it. However, if there are certain remedies I can do for my body, or specific exercises to bring back my body to its shape. Also any medicine that I can use for, say clearing blood vessels up. I don't wanna visit a doctor yet, as if it happens, a confirmation through his diagnosis would completely destroy my psyche. I wanna do my part first before a I go.
I hope you get my point.

June 26, 2015 - 9:36am
Guide (reply to Anonymous)

Hi Anonymous,

Good for you! Keep on track. It isn't easy but with determination, you can kick the habit.

I can only suggest that you maintain a healthy lifestyle of a well-balanced diet and daily exercise.

Within hours of quitting, your body begins to heal.

Does not knowing the extent of any damage to your body from nicotine really boost your psyche?


June 26, 2015 - 4:38pm
EmpowHER Guest

I gave up 4 months ago. I went cold turkey because it isnt quitting if you substitute it with something else. I had a real tough time giving up cannabis before I gave up the cigs. Everybody is different but that way it ended up pretty easy because I basically went through hell and back. It is a long story it started off with major pannick attacks. What I came on here for was to ask anyone thats off them a long time do you cough up black shit or do you just slowly heal as I do get mucas up but it is clear or white my lungs were or are clearly black as I was smoking almost 20 years heavily. Well done and fairplay everyone keep up the goodworkand so do what it takes to stop you are the only one who can help yourself. I thought a lot giving up stuff one thing I thought was I zoomed out of myself and thought I am a little person down there on earth craving something stupid that is disgusting and killing me and people it cannot go on and the craving went away think positive things every time you crave and eventually you only think not want. Im not out of the woods yet but almost goodluck

April 24, 2015 - 8:43pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I have went through similar symptoms of yours. Can you please give me your e-mail I need to ask about something.

May 23, 2015 - 10:22am
EmpowHER Guest

I recently had a "heart situation".. Day before yesterday I got home from a long trip. Was in south texas from central mississippi... Long story short. I was unwinding and working out after the car was unpacked. I dont smoke in the car so naturally when i got home. I smoked about 4 in an hour and ahalf. When i finished working out and was stretching.. Breathing... Bout to go shower. My heart started racing... And felt.. Strange. Like fluttery and fast.

My chest felt tight like i couldnt breathe
My throat was closing.
I felt weak and tired.
Disoriented a bit
My eyes felt.. "Wierd"
I also had muscle spasms in my arms and legs. Close to knees and elbows
Tightness in shoulders..
Jaw clenching

It kept going for about 20 minutes after the workout. Im starting to possibly go in panic mode here... And im thinking.. What did i do most recently to cause this and what could it be?

I considered diet, drinks ive had recently, environmental factors, family medical history, personal medical history, habits and other "trigger mechanisms".. Stress, etc..

Had just finished driving 8 hrs home.. Back from a journey into a foreign land Where i ate pretty heahealthily but didnt get mich quality sleep.. a high stress environment.. I smoked alot on this 5 day adventure. 2 packs a day easily.

Traveled to see my wifes grandma who was in the heart hospital fo r quadruple bypa s s suergery. She also smoked for years.. And still does..

It was one hell of a crazy time. Gps wouldnt work. Driving in houston with rain poring.. Passing accidents.. The whole time i wanted a cig while driving too.. I had a little snuff but that stuff is gross gross.

I took vitamins/supplements During the trip. Drank plenty of water, it was bottled and the date was back in mid 2014... Sometimes had a wierd taste.

I ate bananas.. Like Always do.

That morning i ate sausege, eggs, biscuit and crazy.. And a cup of coffee.. Not too strong.
Later in the drive. Stopped at taco belp. I had 2 Chicken things.. And some soda, mt dew..
Later i had approx 3/4 cup of dry roasted peanuts. Still drinking the bottled water as well.

Im trying to cut down on cig usage Too. Amd really i just want to quit. They are bbadi dont say good things about them. they cost money, yirr health, they stink, the pollute, and besides. Its not allowed in more and more places...

April 21, 2015 - 9:08pm
EmpowHER Guest

I am glad to hear that , I picked up a smoking Habit when I was 11 but I didn't fully start tell I was 13 making it an everyday got to have a pack or more habit . I smoke 1 - 3 packs a day. I can quit , but then when I go to work there is someone that makes me feel like crap for wanting to quit smoking because he don't buy his own cigarettes and I give him them . So he uses me for buying cigarettes and when I tell him I want to quit , he tells me " Well , A cigarette here and there is good but you smoke to much and just need to calm down". I am thinking if I calm down why don't I just fully quit , I want to quit . I look at my fingers and I notice a bend starting to form , and most people that have that is because they have a lack of oxygen. Also if I quit would I get that bend out of my finger nails . I wan't to quit . I just have these difficulties that get in my way . And when you try to quit , It seems like everyone wants you to smoke because they always ask you , If you want a cigarette . Sorry, I knew I went off topic but I was just wondering if anyone deals with that issue , or issues.

April 20, 2015 - 12:29pm
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