Q. If I stop smoking, can I live long?

Answered by
Dr. Anshul Varshney
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Aug 25, 2016 and last reviewed on: Dec 23, 2021

Hi doctor,

I have had a CT scan of the head, neck, and chest. My doctor told me that I have chronic sinus. I already knew these things and had sinus surgery. But, in the report, it was mentioned as mild emphysema. Can that get fixed if I stop smoking? I have been using Advair for years for asthma. I visited a pulmonologist before the CT scan, and he said that my spirometry was good. After seeing my chest x-ray, he said he could take me off Advair. I am really confused and scared. Please help.



Welcome to

Emphysema is a non-reversible change in the lungs. But, yes, the further progression can be controlled by stopping smoking. Now, to know the extent of damage, I would advise you to go for a pulmonary function test (spirometry) that would help you to know the level of damage. The decision to take Advair (a combination of Fluticasone and Salmeterol) is based on your symptoms. If you have no symptoms, then it can be stopped.

Thank you doctor,

They said it is mild centrilobular. Are you sure that stopping smoking stops further progression? Can I still live a long life? My spirometry was perfect and the doctor said that I could get off Advair. But, three weeks later I got a CT scan as I had trouble with throat and then got to know about emphysema. What to do?



Welcome back to

  • Yes, your doctor is right and that is what you need to do.
  • Stop smoking. Things cannot be reversed, but can definitely be stopped from progressing.
  • I need to know if you have any symptoms like breathlessness on walking or difficulty in breathing. Do you have any chest pain associated? Revert with the asked details for a better help.

Revert back with the answers to the above questions to a pulmonologist online -->

Thank you doctor,

I have some little trouble with breathing while climbing, but not with walking and no chest pain. I also have chronic sinusitis, allergies and anxiety. As Advair and Ventolin do not really help, my pulmonologist said do not need it and spirometry was good. Then, in the CT scan mild centrilobular emphysema was found. They said I am fine and just use Advair if needed and of course stop smoking



Welcome back to

  • All right. In that case, you really do not need any medicine.
  • I feel that you have asymptomatic emphysema and that does not carry any significance if you stop smoking now.
  • Do you have your CT report? Please attach it.

Revert back with the report to a pulmonologist online -->

Thank you doctor,

I have attached the CT scan report images. It says mild centrilobular emphysema and no pleural effusion thickening or pneumothorax. Airways are patent. Lungs are clear without consolidation. No interstitial disease or nodules.



Welcome back to

I have evaluated your reports (attachment removed to protect patient identity) and your history.

  • Now, my conclusion in a simple language is that you do have mild lung damage due to smoking.
  • In fact, this was an incidental finding and is actually you should take it as a warning and not like a disease.
  • But, since that is mild and you are asymptomatic you do not have to worry for any future consequences if you stop smoking from now onwards.

For further doubts consult a pulmonologist online -->

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