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Smoking and Tobacco

Can you reverse the damage done?

08/01/2006

Question:

Can you reverse the damage to your lungs done by years of smoking by quitting? How long does it take? Can your lungs be as healthy as they once were?

Answer:

Quitting smoking at anytime improves your health.  Your lungs will not return to their pre-smoking healthy state, but you may significantly improve symptoms like shortness of breath or asthma attacks.  Once you quit, the decline in lung function slows and starts to resemble that of someone who does not smoke.  Good luck to you.

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Response by:

Mary Ellen Wewers, PhD, MPH Mary Ellen Wewers, PhD, MPH
Professor of Health Behaviors & Health Promotion
College of Public Health
The Ohio State University