British Lung Foundation
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Smoker for 10 years

Hi all

I am 26 and have been smoking on average 3 rollies unfiltered a day. I kind of feel bad complaining about my circumstances when you look at what other people have to endure. I have quit for 5 months and about 4 weeks ago my lungs started opening up at the bottom of my lungs and started experiencing a lot of lung pain with shortness of breath. I have no cough but a lot of congestion slipping up my throat and grosses me about the fact I even started to smoke. I am scared about the damage I've done and have gotten quite depressed about it. My doctor said I would of done no damage at all in that short time and didn't even bother offering me any tests so I don't really believe him. The problems is I can't see my lungs, I can only feel them and they don't feel too great atm. I'm going to go back to my doctor if the pain persists but what's the chances of me having mild emphysema? I have been exercising as much as I can on the bike but recently stopped altogether as its a constant reminder of the damage I've done. They tend to burn after exercise and feel really inflamed.

5 Replies

I think your doc's right - you're probably overdoing the exercise. Stop worrying, try relaxing then see how you're feeling three or four weeks from now.


Hi it would be very unusual for you to have emphysema at your very young age. Most people are diagnoised over 40-50 years of age after many years of smoking. Your doctor is probably right.

That's not to say nothing is wrong but not emphysema. Ask yuor doctor for a chest xray to put yor mind at rest x.


Hello and welcome Thomas,

Sound advice from Hanne and others. It's always worth having tests, if only to put your mind at rest.


Hi Thomas,

First, welcome to the boards.

Second, as an asthmatic smoker who smoked more than 10 a day for 20 years, let me try and put your mind at ease and say that your doctor is probably right.

3 a day over 10 years isn't really enough to cause any scarring on the lungs, and certainly not enough to cause emphysema.

Wouldn't hurt to ask for a chest x-ray, just to be sure, and for your peace of mind. But the others are right. You're probably overdoing the exercise. I get the same feeling after I've been out walking for a while.

Try not to worry too much.


Hi Thomas, my advice would be, rather than falling prey to anxiety about something which is highly unlikely, to think positive and concentrate on congratulating yourself on quitting - even three a day is a habit so that's great, well done. Ease off on the exercise like the others have said and I hope you feel better soon. Quitting smoking can only help your health.

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