Surgeon Reveals What Your Lungs Look Like After 30 Years of Smoking

There was a time in our not-so-distant history when we didn’t know how bad smoking was for you. Doctors smoked in the office with their patients and even pregnant mothers puffed on cigarettes without a worry in the world.

Today, we all know that smoking is bad for your health. In fact, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has listed smoking as the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States.

Nearly 1 in 5 deaths that occur are attributed to smoking and the damages it causes to the human body, accounting for nearly half a million deaths each year.

If you smoke, you are two times as likely to suffer a heart attack and thirty times more likely to develop lung cancer. No matter how damning the evidence against smoking, it’s really hard to quit the habit.

While many people have quit smoking, or never started, as a result of these facts and statistics, there are still millions of people who do.

If you or someone you love is trying to or even thinking about quitting, perhaps these images will help motivate your decision.

Chen Jingyu

While healthy lungs should be pink in color, this image shows the blackened lungs of someone who smoked for 30+ years.

The photo comes from a shocking video that surfaced, which showed the lungs of a 52-year-old man who died from multiple forms of lung disease.

The video was posted by the surgeons with the caption: “Do you still have the courage to smoke?”

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The patient chose to donate his organs after death. Sadly, the hospital quickly realized they wouldn’t be able to use them because they were too badly damaged from years of smoking.

“The patient didn’t undergo a CT scan before his death. He was declared brain dead, and his lungs were donated shortly after that. Initial oxygenation index tests were okay, but when we harvested the organs, we realized we wouldn’t be able to use them,” Dr. Chen, the lung transplant surgeon behind the operation, told media outlets.

You can watch the video below: 

“We Chinese love smoking. It would be impractical to say that we wouldn’t accept the lungs of all smokers, but there are strict standards. [We would accept] lungs from people under 60 years of age who have only recently died, minor infections in the lungs and relatively clean X-rays are also acceptable. If the above conditions are met, we would consider transplanting the lungs,” the surgeon behind the video added.

Approximately one in every three cigarettes smoked around the world is smoked in China. There are over 300 million smokers in China, making up around 1/3 of the world’s total.

According to wpro.who: “Nearly 2.3 trillion cigarettes were consumed in China in 2009 – more than in the other top-4 tobacco-consuming countries (Indonesia, Japan, the Russian Federation and the United States of America) combined.”

It is predicted that the number of Tobacco related deaths in China will increase to 3 million by the year 2050.

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As of 2018, around 14 out of every 100 US adults said they currently smoked cigarettes, that’s 13% of the population – or around 34.2 million people. In addition, over 16 million Americans live with a smoking-related disease.

All of the knowledge we have about smoking has decreased the number of smokers in the US. Prior to 2005, around 21 out of every 100 adults smoked cigarettes, accounting for 20.9% of the population.

More men smoke than women. Around 16 out of every 100 adult men smoke, that’s 15.6%.

As for adult women, around 12 out of every 100 smoke, making up 12% of the population.

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People between the ages of 25 and 44 and 45 and 65 years old are the most likely to smoke. Nearly 16 of every 100 adults between 45 and 65 years old smoke, while nearly 17 out of every 100 adults between 25 and 44 smoke.

People between 18 and 24 are the least likely to smoke, with around 8 out of every 100 adults saying they smoke cigarettes.

Education level plays a role in cigarette smoking too. While 36 out of every 100 adults with a GED certificate smoke, only 4 out of every 100 adults with a graduate degree smoke.

It’s not just the people who smoke that are impacted. Around 100,000 people die of second-hand smoke exposure every single year.

You can learn more about the statistics at cdc.gov.