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Hey, quick question for the doctors on the forums -

I smoked on and off (but mostly regularly and moderately) for about four years - I am now 28. I quit just over two years ago (and quit pot on the same day), and never took it up again. I have zero cravings - actually, I can't bear to be around cigarette smoke at all. My aversion to it is even stronger than it was before I ever smoked.

My question is - how permanently damaged are my lungs/overall health if I never smoke another substance for the rest of my life? Though they feel healthy right now, I do get very worried on and off about my lungs when I have time to sit around and ponder. What are my chances of getting cancer, or other illnesses?


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I vaguely remembered reading, in college, that within 20 years after quitting, an ex-smoker's risk of dying for any reason (mortality rate) drops to the same level as someone who has never smoked.

I can't confirm that rather old memory, although my Dad's still here at 86, after smoking for most of his adult life then quitting at retirement. Okay, so it's just one person, and he _is_ a tough old bird, but it's encouraging. :-)

I then searched and found an article on WebMD that says quitting cuts your risk of heart attack in half within 2 years. There's more info on there, including calculators (that I didn't try) for how smoking affects lifespan.

So, basically, your risk is somewhat elevated, but you've done everything you can about it, by quitting. Congratulations on taking care of yourself. Now you just have to worry about getting run over in traffic! :-)

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I started smoking when I was in my early 20s - 21 or 22, I think. (I was a good girl in high school!) I started smoking cigs because I already liked pot, and when I couldn't afford/obtain pot, I'd sometimes want to substitute it with another kind of smoke, and cigarettes are of course super easy to obtain.

I'm very lucky to have no cravings - I have some friends who have quit years ago and still feel the urge every now and again.


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