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Black lungs - truth or lie?

Discussion in 'Tobacco / Nicotine' started by Se7en, Jun 10, 2015.

  1. Se7en

    Se7en Active Contributor

    I've found an article that says, that smoking doesn't discolor the lung (make them dark as seen in many photos). Dr. Victor Buhler, Pathologist at St. Joseph Hospital in Kansas City, said that he have examined thousands of lungs both grossly and microscopically and he couldn't tell from exmining a lung whether or not its former host had smoked.

    Do we have any doctors here to confirm that? :) What do you think, are smoking lungs really just a lie to make people stop smoking?
  2. Tremmie

    Tremmie Community Champion

    To be honest I wasn't sure if those pics with black lungs were a bit exaggerated or not, but as far as I know a doctor can tell the difference between the healthy lungs of a non smoker and someone who has been smoking decades. At least this is what I have been told. I'm not entirely sure because I'm not a doctor myself, but I do have friends who are doctors, so I should probably ask just to be sure.
  3. JoshPosh

    JoshPosh Community Champion

    Here are some pictures. You be the judge.

  4. pwarbi

    pwarbi Community Champion

    I've always been under the impression aswell that a doctor can tell the difference. While I'm not sure how much the pictures we see are real or not, if you think about it, inhaling tobacco and nicotine is going to have some sort of effects on the lungs.
  5. missbishi

    missbishi Community Champion

    I think that the comparison pictures we see will involve a lung which is in it's optimum condition compared with an example of one of the worst lungs ever seen. It's possible that the discolouration isn't usually that extreme. Whichever way you look at it though, there's no denying that smoking does indeed damage the lungs.
  6. calicer1996

    calicer1996 Community Champion

    The pictures are over exaggerated! If they were just a little shade of gray, no one would care. The damage is there, but it is hard to see.
  7. Se7en

    Se7en Active Contributor

    I've seen those pictures. The term "smoker’s lung" refers to the structural and functional diseases in the lung caused by smoking, like emphysema. Many doctors said that they couldn't see on a pair of lungs if they belonged to a smoker or non-smoker, only if he had diseases caused by smoking.
  8. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    Cigarette smoke or any other smoke contains fine particles of carbon [soot] some of which gets trapped or deposited in the lungs. The color of the lungs [whether it's black or not] will depend entirely on how long that person has been smoking and of course how many cigarettes that person smokes on average. Using that logic we can make the assumption that the more someone smokes, the blacker that person's lungs will get to be.
  9. Sparkster

    Sparkster Community Champion

    Sounds kind of ridiculous if you ask me. The fact that smokers develop dark orange nicotine stains on the fingers and brown stains on their teeth, aswell as sometimes around their mouth, is an obvious indication that it must be doing the same thing to the inside of your body and you cannot wash the inside of your body like you can with the outside. Therefore, basic logic and common sense tells you that it must have the same effect on your lungs. Having said that, I do agree that the images are probably over-exaggerated.
  10. Nergaahl

    Nergaahl Community Champion

    Smoking dries lungs out and also the fluid found in them. That's why "smoker's lungs" look like this. If someone's been a heavy smoker, of course their lungs will not look like a healthy person's. Yes, most of the pictures on the Internet are photoshopped in order to achieve a more dramatic look, but it's pretty close to what it actually looks like.
  11. Se7en

    Se7en Active Contributor

    They why were some doctors saying that they couldn't tell if person was a smoker or not?
  12. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    Even I am not a doctor or in a medical field, I still believe that there is a difference between a sickened lungs due to smoking compared to the healthy lungs. Just like the look of a sick person versus the one who is healthy. ;)
  13. rightct

    rightct Community Champion

    Not really convincing, Josh. This photo could've been made in Photoshop or any other editing program, so make sure you also point out the original source. ;)
  14. Se7en

    Se7en Active Contributor

    Exactly. That's why I'd like to hear it from a doctor :)
  15. calicer1996

    calicer1996 Community Champion

    One way to find out would be to get a person's dead body who died of smoking and cut open his chest. I don't really think that there is any other way out.
  16. Se7en

    Se7en Active Contributor

    Why died from smoking? Someone who was smoking and didn't have any medical issues because of that.
  17. panda

    panda Member

    I dissected cadavers a few years ago and all the lungs were dark. The only case I saw that had light colored lungs was a child's.
    When we're born, our lungs are pink. As time goes by, carbon gets deposited which turns them into an ashy grey/dark brown color. I'm guessing smokers would have darker lungs.
    This is what I'd generally see:
  18. FuZyOn

    FuZyOn Community Champion

    From what I know they become a dark tone of gray, but it's not that different from a normal person's lungs. As panda said, because of Carbon our lungs get darker and darker, so it's really hard to tell apart a smoker and a non-smoker by just looking at the color of the lungs.
  19. Aescopri

    Aescopri Active Contributor

    I mean, I've definitely seen a lot of pictures were the lungs were literally decaying and black when my school held events for raising awareness to drug abuse and trying to stop it. Those pictures are so widespread that I don't think that anyone would doubt their credibility. This is just a thought, but I'm an Adobe Photoshop-savvy person and I know for a fact that anyone who is intermediate, familiar and comfortable with Photoshop can create that kind of effect easily.

    Though, I'm sure that there are actual, real life people who have suffered those consequences from smoking because of the scientifically proven damage that it does to your lungs. Any thoughts on this?
  20. Aescopri

    Aescopri Active Contributor

    Not quite yet.
    I think that this effect could be achieve with Photoshop, so I'm going to scout around for the white version of the smoker's lungs and see if I can find any that resembles it—if I can't, it might just be real!
    PS: Smoker's lungs look like someone drew all over a lung with black marker.