Home HealthTopics Health Centers Reference Library Research
Join us on Facebook Join us on Facebook Share on Facebook

Smoking and Tobacco

Lung scarring

02/13/2008

Question:

My son had a bad accident 5 years ago. He had collasped lungs and he smokes and will not stop. I took him to the hospital because he had smoked and was letting it out, and he started coughing and got some bad chest pain in the right side. They did xrays and he has scarring on the right side more than the left, but otherwise the lungs were alright. If he keeps on smoking, he also has gone to smoking ultra lights now, how bad can his lungs get?

Answer:

Dear Mother of a smoking son,

I'm sorry about your predicament. It sounds like your son has serious lung disease, and he is compounding it by smoking. You ask the question: "how bad can his lungs get?" I don't know how old your son is, or how bad his lung disease is, but suffice it to say that more than 100,000 Americans die each year from smoking-induced lung disease. That doesn't count the hundreds of thousands of others who die from smoking-caused heart disease, stroke, and cancer.

About "ultra-lights:" there is no evidence that they reduce risks at all. Your son should quit. Please have him call 800-QUIT-NOW and see his doctor as soon as possible.

For more information:

Go to the Smoking and Tobacco health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Rob  Crane, MD Rob Crane, MD
Clinical Associate Professor of Family Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University