Do lung cells recover after a person stops smoking?

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Smoking cigarettes is considered one of the most life-threatening bad habits ever learned by a person. For example, scientists recently found evidence that smoke entering smokers' bodies can cause problems with a person's mental faculties. However, the main danger of cigarettes lies in their negative impact on a person's respiratory system and a significant increase in the risk of developing lung cancer. It used to be believed that cigarette damage could not be repaired, but scientists from the UK and Japan recently discovered that lung cells could restore their health. Just to start recovery processes, a person has to quit smoking.

New study results show that it is never too late to quit smoking

The results of the study, which surprised even the scientists themselves, were published in the journal Nature. The scientific work was carried out as part of the Mutographs project program to identify the causes of cancer. Scientists knew from the start that lung cancer was due to the fact that substances in tobacco smoke cause human cells to divide uncontrollably and become cancerous tumors. To get more information about cancer risk in smokers and normal people, scientists conducted a study on 16 people.

How does lung cancer develop?

The volunteers included men and women of different ages, including smokers and people who gave up this bad habit. For even more interesting results, the scientists also invited people who were always afraid of cigarettes. Lung tissue samples were taken from the invitees and then examined for the presence of "mutated" from smoking cigarette cells.

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It is not surprising that scientists have found many cells in existing smokers that have been altered by tobacco smoke. The worst part is that a large part of the damaged cells had mutations that could cause cancer to develop. According to the researchers, even lung cells that are slightly damaged by cigarette smoke are “time bombs” that can cost a person's life in an unexpected moment.

Classic image – lungs of a healthy person and lungs of a smoker

It was previously believed that even smoking cessation could not compensate for the damage caused by nicotine addiction for several years. To their great surprise, however, scientists found that people who quit smoking had very few damaged lung cells. In particular, it is about the fact that the lungs of former smokers contained four times more healthy cells than those who still cannot overcome their bad habit.

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Scientists do not yet know exactly how the human lungs are restored after smoking. However, they assume that healthy lung cells actively divide after giving up cigarettes and fill the affected areas of the respiratory system with themselves. Scientists emphasized that the recovery process can begin at any age, so it is never too late to quit smoking. Some of the participants in the experiment smoked 15,000 packs of cigarettes in their lifetime, but a few years after they gave up their bad habit, their lungs recovered.

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The researchers are very confident that their discovery will be an excellent motivation for many people with this bad habit. In fact, many experienced smokers are already confident that they will never regain their previous health and therefore see no point in stopping smoking.