Many people know full well they need to give up smoking, but keep putting it off until their next birthday or the next new year.
After all, if you can’t (yet) see the damage smoking is having on your body, then it’s all too easy to carry on puffing your way through a pack a day, ignoring the coughs and breathlessness which disturb your day-to-day routine.
Sometimes it takes a gruesome visual image to force you into remembering how your crafty fag breaks are reducing your innards to a gory, broken mess. Not to mention causing your loved ones a great deal of heartache.
Now, if there’s any footage capable of making you chuck all your cigs in the bin, it’s a recent video posted to Facebook by North-Carolina based nurse, Amanda Eller.
In the video footage, we see a tray containing two sets of very different lungs. These specimens don’t even appear to be the same organs at first glance.
The non-smoker’s lungs are pinky-red and healthy. The smoker’s lungs are blackened, charred looking and cracked; riddled with cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
They honestly look like something indistinguishable, found within the wreckage of a fire ravaged building.
However, the true extent of the differences is most apparent when the woman in the video – thought to be Amanda – inflated and deflated each pair of lungs in turn.
The non-smoker’s lungs were shown to swell to full capacity before deflating gradually in a usual manner; showing a healthy elasticity.
The woman in the video remarks:
And you can see, inhalation and expiration, they totally deflate. And they are right back to where they were before we started.
A PEP valve was then added to these well-functioning lungs, slowing their deflation rate even further. This would allow a person to increase their oxygen absorption.
this guy in the office literally hacks up his lungs right before he goes out for a smoke. every. single. time.
— Maeson (@MaesonColeman) May 1, 2018
I deadass stopped breathing in my sleep last night and woke up and coughed so hard for 10 minutes I thought my lungs were gonna fall out… long story short gotta lay off the smokes
— Emily? (@emilyballz) May 1, 2018
However, the smoker’s lungs were a different story altogether – appearing to be dried out and barely functional as the woman attempted to fully inflate them.
While demonstrating the inadequacy of the ruined lungs, the woman gives the following, grim explanation:
It does a little bit with the PEP but it’s not quite as impressive.
Because these lungs are COPD, cancerous lungs, the elastance is gone, so they’ll stretch out but then the recoil of them just snaps right back because there’s nothing to help hold them open.
So you can see there how fast they deflate.
All I need is 100 RT’s & my mom will stop smoking cigs. RT RT RT ? pic.twitter.com/mHzpEc3Ll2
— susan? (@susan_agesen) April 30, 2018
For most of us, we all have one friend or family member in our lives whose heavy smoking causes us no end of concern.
Let’s spread the word with this video and let them know exactly why we nag at them.
Need support to stop smoking? Call the NHS helpline on 0300 123 1044 or visit the NHS website for more information.
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues, and want to speak to someone in confidence contact Macmillan’s Cancer Support Line on 0808 808 00 00 (Monday – Friday, 9am – 8pm).
Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.