Can I reverse the aging process caused by smoking?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Yes. When you quit smoking you reverse the arterial damage caused by smoking and you start to reverse the immune damage caused by smoking. Some of the damage such as that is structurally to the lung that leads to emphysema was just started by smoking and carried on by your inflammatory system. That is not reversible and so is heart damage you have already suffered but many of the things caused by smoking are reversible.
In this video, Michael Roizen, MD, chief wellness officer for the Cleveland Clinic, explains how.
Quitting smoking as part of adopting a healthier lifestyle that includes increasing your level of physical activity and employing healthy eating strategies will help.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Smoking accelerates aging by damaging cells throughout the body, making you vulnerable to a number of life-threatening diseases. The good news, though, is that if you quit smoking, your body will begin to repair and reverse the damage immediately.

Consider this: Within 20 minutes of your last cigarette, your heart rate and blood pressure will drop, according to the American Cancer Society. Within a few weeks, your blood circulation may improve. A month after you stamp out that last cigarette butt, you may notice that you cough less and don't become winded so easily, making you feel more youthful and energetic.

Your health will continue to improve in the months and years that follow if you avoid tobacco. Importantly, your risk for heart disease, lung cancer, and other cancers that can cut life short will plummet.
There has not been any treatment shown to reverse the natural aging process. Quitting smoking, however, while not able to reverse the damage, can certainly slow down the process. There has been some good data on a trial by researchers at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Harvard Medical School that turned weak and feeble old mice into healthy animals by regenerating their aged bodies. This is still in a trial phase, however, and cannot be used in humans.

Continue Learning about Impact Of Nicotine Addiction On The Body

How does smoking make existing health risks worse?
Dr. Michael Roizen, MDDr. Michael Roizen, MD
Unfortunately, when you smoke, the dangers posed by smoking interact with other potential health...
More Answers
Does smoking increase my risk for other lung diseases besides cancer?
Dr. Vincent T DeVita JrDr. Vincent T DeVita Jr
Yes. Pneumonia is included in the list of diseases known to be caused by smoking. Smoking also incre...
More Answers
How Does Smoking Affect My Risk of Developing Cancer?
How Does Smoking Affect My Risk of Developing Cancer?
Under 40? Here's Another Reason to Quit Smoking Now
Under 40? Here's Another Reason to Quit Smoking Now

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.