Get Email Updates

Addictions Guide

Alison Beaver

Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.


Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!

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

Rate This

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

Add a Comment138 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

I smoked for 22 years, quit about a month before I turned 40. That was 10.5 years ago. Then I spent seven more years addicted to patches and gum--well at least my lungs were clear. The thing that helped me get nicotine free was learning how the drug worked, and why I was addicted. If I had it to do over again, I would NOT use a nicotine substitute. Study your addiction, learn your triggers, fight or avoid them accordingly. It only takes a month to beat it. It CAN be done. Love yourself.

February 15, 2015 - 10:01pm
EmpowHER Guest

I am christian converted from islam, saudi student studying and trying to make the united states new home!
I inhaled and smoked daily cigarets since 10-11 years old I just turned 20. I suffered from child abuse, but it made me stronger nd knowledgeable no complaining at all!
When I started freshman living in California campus dorms I quit for about one-two weeks then I felt I can handle this! So I though I could smoke one and only one cigaret by the end of the day. Because I wanted to smoke you see the reason I quit is that I don't want to live in the suffer of buying, thinking, smelling, tired, short of breath,ETC diseases nd life length not that important!!! After smoking once at midnight then sometimes I smoke two if I am having pressure then its three and so on.. When I quit I was using vaporizer, more than .6 mg WILL get you back to smoking at some point.. In conclusion at this moment I came to realize that if you want to quit damn cigarets you will but deep inside we don't... you have to go through the journey of ur self and learn how to rebuild what is broken....

February 15, 2015 - 3:37pm
EmpowHER Guest

Me too!
I've so "Just" quit smoking. If I ever go back to it again, I'm the son of a HO! Never ever am I touching tobacco again! Thanks guys , all the comments inspire me, I will keep reading them everyday. I guess that will help to stay put. God Bless.

February 14, 2015 - 1:37pm
EmpowHER Guest

I am 31 and I have been shining for about 16 years. Is had been 5 days without a cigarette and I have never felt better. I look at my kids and they look happier abs I'm the cause of those smiles. I don't have to go near a window every time I want to smoke. I don't smell like an ashtray. My house smells good. I just added some years to my life thanks my support team and my father above giving me the straight to do all that I can. Just can't wait to be able to run and excerise without shortness of breath. I give it to everyone on this site that had giving up smoking we are doing something right in our lives. Good luck to all on your new journey of life. Good bless all.

January 21, 2015 - 7:06pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I smoked in high school and quit for almost 20 years when I got married and raised my kids, a divorce triigered smoking agin after 20 years. Then dated men who smoked I have been smoking light then heavier when I drink for 3 years. I am 54 and in great shape I can already see skin sagging, and my hair seems to fall out easier, its thinning from that loss. I just read some very frightening facts, which can ALL be prevented from quitting. I have tried but failed many times until I read the horrifying facts of aging and cancers, we all know. I am going to try cold turkey again, it worked last time for 20 years. Please pray that it will work.

March 16, 2015 - 4:35pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Try to read Allen Carr's Easy Way to Stop Smoking. It's a book that removes the fear of the act of quitting smoking by showing you why cigarette is an illusion and don't "give" you anything. So it shows you that when you quit, you actualy lose nothing. It really helped me. I smoked for 15 years and I quit cold turkey. It's been a month and a half now and honestly I almost do not think about smoking anymore. I breathe better, the food tastes better. Hell, even my bald head have some new little hair growing, I could not believe it, lol. Honestly: quit smoking now.

March 25, 2015 - 9:23am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Congratulations! Go you!!

February 2, 2015 - 12:17am
EmpowHER Guest

I stopped smoking 11 years go. It was hard as id been a heavy smoker born of the era when smoking was seem as cool. Thank god we know more now.
I can honestly say it was one of the hardest things I have ever done, and no the urge does not go to smoke, it just gets easier to handle, my advice.......
change your routine, if you get up make coffee, then have a cigarette, get up make tea, or juice and dust or walk up and down stairs a few times, just do something else with the time you would normally allocate to smoking, it worked for me, id clean the bathroom and say to myself when I've done this I will have a cigarette, so instead id go and mouth gargle or telephone someone anything to use the time id smoke . Eventually the urge passes.
Ive just read my lungs may not be clear by all accounts the damage is done, but I should of bought a few extra years, I suppose that's everything!!

January 20, 2015 - 3:56pm
EmpowHER Guest

I myself smoked for 40 years so happily one day I prayed about and the desire to smoke was completely gone. It has now been 2 weeks and yes that is a big deal for someone that never stop smoking past a day since starting. There will be no more buying and smelling like smoke. My reason for stopping I want to live enough said!

December 15, 2014 - 3:31am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

After so many many prayers, I am now on my 11th smoke-free day after 35 years of nicotine. Good luck for your journey...

December 27, 2014 - 1:45am
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy

All user-generated information on this site is the opinion of its author only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical conditions. Members and guests are responsible for their own posts and the potential consequences of those posts detailed in our Terms of Service.


3206 Health


1972 Lives


1849 Lives
16 lives impacted in the last 24 hrs Learn More

Take Our Featured Health Poll

Do you smoke? :
View Results