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effects of smoking/second hand smoke affecting lung capacity(4 posts)

effects of smoking/second hand smoke affecting lung capacitykhockey19
Jan 21, 2004 2:08 PM
Hi i've attempted to research the amount of time it takes the lungs to recover from smoke inhilation. This comes from a number of different types of smoke from First and Second Hand smoke as well as the smoke from Cannibus. There's a large grey area in people's and doctors opinions on which type of smoke is more harmful. And it more or less comes down to how often the smoke is inhaled versus the way it is inhaled. Smoke from second hand smoking is worse per unit b.c a large amount of it is unfiltered and simply is let into the air by the tip of the lit cigarette. First hand smoke is filtered but higher consentrations of smoke are inhaled and at times many times a day. Cannibus is said to be worse than cigarrette smoke but many are led to believe this may be not as true because the large amount of funding from the government against drugs to make the facts "bent" in a way to discourage people.
What I am trying to find out is the length of time the lungs would take to recover from say a 2-3 months span of occassional (3-5) times a week this is not 3-5 pakcs a week but 3-5 cigarettes or Joints of Marijuana. The best information i've recieved is that lungs will take about 3 months to gain approx 1/4 the lung capacity back and then slower regeneration afterwords.

Any help is greatly appriciated
re: effects of smoking/second hand smoke affecting lung capacityJon Billheimer
Jan 21, 2004 2:21 PM
Good question. I've wondered the same thing since my wife still smokes, although I quit 17 years ago as a result of a collapsed lung and a clinical diagnosis of emphysema brought on by 23 years of world class smoking. Contrary to my physicians' predictions, all clinical traces of the emphysema are gone and I rank slightly above average for my age group with respect to time trial times.

From the extremely sketchy reading I've done the measurable effects of second hand smoke on lung function are debatable, although lung cancer risk is elevated. I also wonder if the effects of second hand smoke are equivalent to or any worse than ambiant pollution from auto and industrial emissions in any large city.

Anyone have a handle on the facts? Or are the facts even known?
re: effects of smoking/second hand smoke affecting lung capacityRob11966
Jan 21, 2004 3:17 PM
Smoking causes several problems, some are reversible, some are not. Also, the effects of smoking vary between individuals so that it is not possible to say that if you smoke this much you will get this amount of danage. Perhaps the most important fator is the amount of alph 1 antitrypsin which is genetically determined. The more you have the more resistant to lung damage you are.
Now back to the problems of smoking.
1. Reversible - Smoking causes bronhospasn, sputom plugging and damage to the cilia(little hairs in the breathing tubes. These effects (especially the bronchospasm) will reduce lung funtion, particularly the speed at which you can move air in and out. These changes will resolve within 3 months of cesation of smoking.
2. Irreversible - Smoking breaks down the structure of the lung and the normal air sacks (alveoli) are replaced with non-functioning scar tissue. The end stages of this process are known commonly as smokers lung or emphysema. This does not get better. Theis change starts to happen with your first smoke and the speed of progressionvaries from person to person. How bad is yours? The best way to tell is get some comprehensive lung studies 3 months after you have quit and compare to the widely reported figures for age, race and sex.
3. Cancer- Risk of lung cancer 20X the normal population. Returns to normal 10 years after cesation of smoking.Hope this is helpful.
My understanding is that the cilia.....divve
Jan 21, 2004 11:25 PM
....are permanently destroyed in a smoker. Amongst some other things they're responsible for the initial gag and coughing effect common to first time smokers. I used to be a smoker myself up to 16 years ago. I and took a few drags from a cigarette about 2 years ago just to see what would happen. To my surprise nothing happened at all. It felt quite natural as if I never had stopped smoking. No coughing at all. My lungs just sucked in all the goodness....