Smoking is a serious issue. The World Health Organization (WHO) believes that there are about 1.1 billion smokers around the globe and have estimated that 1.8 million people die from lung cancer every year. Although it can take decades for lung cancer to arise, smokers have a 30 times higher risk of developing lung cancer as compared to non-smokers. There are carcinogenic components that are found in tobacco and these components promote lung cancer. Moreover, the carcinogenic components cause DNA damage which leads to mutations. Thus, people poorly understand the consequences of smoking. However, on the other hand, people do not know that their lungs have the ability to magically heal damage from smoking. But, in order to take advantage of the body’s ability to heal itself from the damage caused by smoking, one has to stop smoking.
It is commonly believed that the mutations that cause lung cancer are permanent and would continue to wreak havoc even after quitting. But, there are studies that have been published by Nature that suggest that there are few cells which actually manage to escape the damage caused by smoking and these cells have the capability to heal or repair your lungs. The effect of this has also been observed in patients that smoked a pack a day for about 40 years until they finally gave up smoking. The DNA is mutated and corrupted by the thousands of chemicals that are found in tobacco. These chemicals slowly transform the DNA from a healthy one to cancerous.
The way some cells manage to escape remains unclear. According to researchers, it is believed that they exist in a nuclear bunker. When you quit smoking, these cells start to grow and effectively replace damaged cells in your lung. Some studies show that people who quit smoking, about 40 percent of the cells appeared similar to people that never even smoked. Dr. Peter Campbell from the Sanger Institute claims to have been completely unprepared for such a finding. He says that there is, in fact, a population of cells which magically replenishes your airway linings. One of his patients that had been smoking for the past 40 years experienced the regeneration of cells after quitting which showed that the patient was completely unscathed by the effects of tobacco despite such strong exposure. Researchers are still assessing how much of lungs get repaired and looking at the gene of their patients.