A Smoker’s lungs after 10 years

Smoking is an addiction, a danger to your health and the well-being of your loved ones. Smoking is a drug, which most people can’t seem to escape even if it they know, is the most dangerous for your health.  According to a study done by the CDC (Center for Disease Control) 34.1 million adults are addicted of smoking.

Let us explore some essential differences that show how badly smoking affects a human respiratory organ, compromising lung functions. We will look at smokers lungs after 10 years of smoking 2 packs of cigarettes daily.

Difference – 10 years Smokers Lungs & Normal Lungs


10 Year Smokers Lungs

Normal Lungs


Greyish Black from the tar that accumulates on the lung.

Pink and bright.


Hyper Inflated in size.



The lower part of the smokers lung does not inflate and causes difficulty in breathing.

A healthy lung inflates and deflates each time we inhale air.





Musle Loss

Dome Shaped

Detailed Effects on 10 years smokers lungs

A smokers chest is significantly different from a regular healthy persons chest. It undergoes high wear and tear. Herein below is the image comparing a 10 years smokers lungs, who has smoked 2 packs of cigarettes per day.

Img Src: MD Anderson Cancer Center

1. Appearance

  • It is noted via CAT scans that a long-term smoker’s lungs appearances change drastically. Smoking affects the physical movement of the lungs and gets in the way of its proper functioning.
  • The smokers lungs becomes grayish black in color instead of the normal pink because of the tar that has accumulated on it from the smoke inhaled.

2. Mucus Production

  • Long-term smokers are affected by increased mucus production in their lungs, resulting in breathlessness and weakening of the immune system.

3. Coughing

  • One of the most common effects of smoking is frequent coughing and developing chronic throat infections. Smoking damages Cilia (tiny hairs in the airway duct to keep away dirt and irritants from the lungs), resulting in more infectious diseases and long-term coughing problems.

4. Oxygen Levels

  • Capillaries walls  in the lungs are small blood vessels that allow oxygen to pass through the body. Due to smoking, the capillaries get thickened and scarred, which leads to improper gaseous exchange and low oxygen levels.

5. Chest Tightening

  • Smoking causes inflammation which leads to damage of tissues present in the lungs. Inflammation narrows the airways, which causes tightness of the chest.

6. Breathing Problems and Lung Cancer

  • Smoking results in shortness of breath, and even mild physical exercises lead to excessive exertion.
  • Lung Cancer– One of the most adverse and common effects on long-term smokers is exposure to Lung Cancer. According to a study, 9 out of 10 deaths due to lung cancer are linked to excessive smoking. Cigarettes releases many harmful chemicals like nicotine, ammonia, carbon monoxide, etc., which are a significant cause of cancer in humans. It also damages cells and blood vessels present in the lungs.

Effects of Long-term Smoking

Long-term and frequent smoking decreases people’s life expectancy and gives them the most painful and disease-infected lives. Some significant effects of long term smoking are-

  • Reduction in vision and cataract related problems
  • Mouth, lung, and other cancers.
  • Angina stroke and heart diseases.
  • Getting diabetes and a weak immune system.
  • Prematurely aging of the skin and blood clots.

The biggest threat to human lungs is due to excessive and frequent smoking. It changes the whole function and structure of the lungs and results in difficulty in breathing and numerous health problems.

Smoking causes significant diseases and makes your immune system take a sabbatical in protecting you. Long-term smoking can cut your life span in half and give you a rather painful and uneasy life. It is never too late to quit smoking. Life gives new chances every day to make a more conscious and healthy choice for you and your loved ones.

Leave a Comment