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

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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

I have been smoking for 15 months, about 10 cigarettes per day. I am only 16 years old and I'm quitting today. How long will it take for my lungs to recover?

June 29, 2015 - 7:13am
Maryann Gromisch RN Guide (reply to Anonymous)

Hello Anonymous,

You have taken the first important step. Stick with it.

Here is the link to a timeline slide show, "What Happens When You Quit Smoking"


June 29, 2015 - 8:43am
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
Maryann Gromisch RN 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
Maryann Gromisch RN 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
Susan Cody HERWriter Guide (reply to Anonymous)

Hi Anon

You should not be coughing up black anything - and after a few years of quitting you'll be feeling like you never smoked at all. Keep up the good work! It is SO worth it. I was a slave to cigarettes for 15 years myself and being free of it is the best feeling.



May 25, 2015 - 8:39am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Susan Cody)

Hey Susan, when I gave up smoking about 30 years ago, I returned to running and within a week of not running that far, I was coughing up all this black stuff. I put it down to the tar that formed on my lungs. The coughing lasted about a month or so. Now, I have clean lungs as if I had never touched them. The black stuff was my body ridding itself of all the toxins I had put into it. Keep up it . can be done. I am still running and fitter than ever at 53.

June 16, 2015 - 4:41am
EAZYSTE85 (reply to Susan Cody)

Hi thanks a mill for your reply. I will not be going bk on them thats for sure they ruin you. Sorry if this site is just for women as I am a man. I only noticed that it is called empowHERS. Cheers and fairplay making this to try help people good woman thanks again ;)

May 25, 2015 - 9:01am
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