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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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Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Congratulations! I, too, am taking Chantix right now. I have a 19 year habit and I am two weeks into the "clean" zone. If you need to chat with someone who is walking the same path, let me know. Chantix is AMAZING. I think you'll agree!! My best.

April 10, 2009 - 12:26pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Yea i only quit smoking 6 months ago after a 10 year habit, within that 6 months ive been walking around 20km a day to try and regain my form of running 30km a day before smoking, im allreafy feeling healthy and fit and have joined a local touch football team, i dont believe the body can be beat and it will heal fast if u assist it in everyday choices , walk dont drive, swimming helps also , theres really alot u can do to fight back

August 30, 2012 - 2:36am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Congratulations to all of you! I too am on Chantix. Outstanding drug, right? I have a 11 year or so habit and at 27 I figured there was still time to safe my life. I have 9 days completely smoke free. You need very little willpower on this drug...well, at least for me. Good luck on your journey.

January 13, 2010 - 10:17am

That's a really interesting link, thks. It looks like much of the body can return to normal even if the lungs are never quite the same.

pity cigarettes are so addictive but at least I stopped in time :)

February 14, 2009 - 1:41pm


I found this timeline so you can see what to expect after the years pass as a non smoker. It's great to see that chances of stroke and lung cancer decrease dramatically!

February 13, 2009 - 4:45pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to rlyons)

Thanks for your post. This really help me!

May 15, 2010 - 10:28pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Who is the person who wrote this, i don't see any medical qualifications in relation to the person who wrote it????

February 6, 2012 - 2:17pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

surgeon general...

July 22, 2012 - 3:03pm

I had always thought that after 10 years or so of not smoking, the lungs would recover 100%, however I was recently listening to a radio programme about this very subject and supposedly the lungs, though they do heal somewhat, never return to a perfect state as if you had never smoked. This doctor explained that the lungs are not like the liver which can recover from a very bad state. Basically when you stop smoking, you stop further damage.
I was most disappointed at this news myself. I quit smoking after a 12 year or so habit and thought that I would regain my "virgin" lungs!
It is certainly better to quit than to continue though!

February 13, 2009 - 4:13pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to rlyons)

Well done for stopping smoking. Like myself I have stopped smoking for 10 years now. It was not an easy road but got there in the end. I had smoked for a very long time so did not expect my lungs to come out squeaky clean as I am now asthmatic but not as bad as the very first few months but on the up. I am glad I have done it now I would just highly recommend for a smoker to try and stop as soon as possible to save your lungs further damage. I know it does take huge determination but admit I do feel a whole lot better in myself and my pocket is happier. You can do it

May 29, 2017 - 5:36am
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