How Fast Do Lungs Recover After Quitting Smoking?

How Fast Do Lungs Recover After Quitting Smoking?
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Overview
The human body has an amazing ability to heal itself. This is clearly seen in ex-smokers. As soon as an individual stops smoking, his lungs begin to heal. Stopping smoking reduces a person's risk of lung cancer and other lung diseases such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis.
Three Months
Within three months of stopping smoking, the lung function (the amount and speed of air that can be inhaled and exhaled) begins to improve.
One year
During the first smoking-free year, the small hair-like cilia in the lungs improve their ability to move mucus and clean the lungs. Problems such as shortness of breath and coughing become less frequent.
Ten Years
After 10 years of not smoking, a U.S. Surgeon General's report shows that the risk of lung cancer drops to less than half that of an individual who smokes.
Women
A Lung Health Study sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) showed that women's lung function improved twice as much as men's during the first year after stopping smoking.
Warning
According to a 2004 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services report, "The Health Consequences of Smoking: A Report of the Surgeon General," former smokers will always have a higher risk of lung cancer than those who have never smoked.
Resources
reference
National Cancer Institute: Quitting Smoking
reference
Women Benefit from Stopping Smoking
reference
American Cancer Society: Guide to Quitting Smoking
resource
CDC: Smoking and Tobacco Use: Cessation