How to improve lungs after quitting smoking

Updated April 17, 2017

Congratulations! You have decided to quit smoking. According to the American Lung Association, your body begins to heal itself from the negative effects of smoking as soon as twenty minutes after your last puff. Your lungs will begin to improve in just a couple of weeks. However, there are things you can do to help encourage the improvement of your lungs after quitting smoking. Your improved breathing may even persuade you to keep up the good work.

Eat lots of fruits and vegetables. Both the Centers for Disease Control and the National Cancer Institute recommend that adults eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables every day. This is especially true after quitting smoking. The antioxidants in produce will help your lungs heal and improve more quickly.

Drink at least 1,892ml of water daily. Your lungs use up moisture with every breath you take, and the toll put on them by smoking makes your lungs work even harder. By providing sufficient fluids to your body, you will help improve your lungs as well.

Clean your house. Throw away or store dust-collecting clutter. Wipe dust from furniture, window treatments and other areas. Wipe down walls and vacuum thoroughly and regularly. Dust and mould can irritate your lungs, hindering their improvement even after quitting smoking.

Purchase an air filter for your home. This will help clear your surroundings of dust, allergens, pollutants and smoke in the air that might impede the improvement of your lungs.

Practice deep breathing exercises. Breathe in deeply and slowly through your nose. Hold the breath for several seconds. Release the breath slowly and forcefully through your mouth. Repeat these exercises several times a day. Try to take deeper breaths and hold your breath longer as your lungs improve.

Things You'll Need

  • Fresh produce
  • Water
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Air filter
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Tricia Goss' credits include Fitness Plus, Good News Tucson and Layover Magazine. She is certified in Microsoft application and served as the newsletter editor for She has also contributed to The Dollar Stretcher, Life Tips and Childcare Magazine.