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Used to smoke?

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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New Member
Jul 5, 2004
This is my first post as i am new here.

As a child i was a very active swimmer and recreational beach snorkeller/diver and have dabbled in scuba diving. I can hold my breath for around 4 mins too, and thats without much practise or long preparation.

My question is about smoking. I used to smoke for a couple of years, but i have quit now for 5 weeks and counting and do not intend to smoke again. Im 21 and would like to know peoples opinions upon how a period of smoking in your life affects or may affect ones performance with regard to sports including freediving of course. Also, will i be able to restore my lungs to a good state of health with good excersise?

Obviously there will be some irreparable damage done but id love to hear from anybody with first hand experience of this themseleves.

Anaerobic exercises such as sprinting, weight lifting and freediving are not seriously affected by smoking. Many elite freedivers smoke, and some of the earlier world record were set by smokers. However, to my knowledge, the current world records are held by non smokers.

I wouldn't worry too much.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada

Firstly, well done on quitting, hang in there, 5 weeks soon becomes 2 years !! I stopped about 2 and a half years ago, and the benefits are mainly visible in terms of higher energy levels. You are young enough for your body to get rid of all effects of smoking, with no long term damage, so there is more motivation for you.

As far as freediving goes, smoking not only reduces oxygen levels in the blood, but more importantly, it dulls the 'trigger' which causes you to start feeling discomfort during breathhold when your carbon dioxide levels are too high. In other words, your urge to breath is not as intense as a smoker, making it easier to ignore, and putting you in potential ground of a shallow water blackout. ( SWB).

I read a good saying once, and I quote.. "Smoking ensures the most comfortable ride to a SWB..."

Good luck

Jeff. PS having said this, quite a few of my 'apnea buddies' are smokers, go figure ? :head
Congratulations. It took me a lot longer to give up. The 'benefits' of smoking are few. I just have one thing to add to the above comments. According to statistics, your chances of lung cancer become the same as someone who never smoked, in five years. That's only one measure, but a very significant one.
Efatt, wow thats quite interesting, i would have thought that smoking would be the best way to seriously affect the performance of a freediver. However i will continue to be a non smoker.
Im soon going travelling around the Greek islands and hope to do some good dives around there.
Hello Swordfish.
I gave up smoking around 5 years ago. I'm 29 now.
Around long term lung damage AKA: 'Smoking reduces VC':
Bullshit. I have a VC of 6.5 liters. It's well above the average for my size (1.86 cm, I think the average must go somewhere between 3.5-4.5 liters)It comes from complete abdominal+toracic+clavicular breathing and from lung elasticity
exercises: packing, stretching etc. Not for given up smoking.
Smoking doesn't reduce the size of your lungs, "only" takes down
the alveoli and blood capacity of interchanging and carrying oxigene due to the tar
and carbon monoxide (and the millions of chemical components
found in packed tobaco.
Or this is what I think about it :)
Each time I smoke a cigarrete(like 1 or 2 in a month) I do it for this reason:
I feel what a crap piece of shit tobacco is and how it dirts your body. At the next day I can feel the dampening of the body due to this cigarrete. And then I feel that my motivation for being a non-smoker is higher.

The main crap of your organism is cleaned out in a couple of weeks. If you exercise, probably in fewer time.
Then It takes like 5 years to fully clean out, but the main shit is taken out early.

About Greek Islands:
I did this trip last year. For freediving, I would go to Santorini (specially perisa (SP?) beach: 15 meter bottom, blue cristal waters
around the cape, lots of life) but specially Amorgos(Aghios Poulos, Aghios Prokopios (with a wreck at the seashore around 3 meter deep!!)and Mouros Beach: incredible blue waters with 20 meter visibility, 10-20 meter deep). Le Grand Blue was partly filmed in Amorgos island and there's a cool bar where you can see the movie in a terrace every night. Guess the name of the bar? 'Le Grand Blue', at the port. Also I've heard that Paxos is a great place for freediving, but I don't know it.

Good luck and stay motivated (you get nothing from tobacco and you gain lots of things without it) with the quitting!


Thanks for the advice Icarus! I was actually thinking of including Santorini in my trip, but now i think i definetely will!
Have you been to Icaria or sikinos? I hope to visit those islands too.
No, I haven't :(
But If you are there, just let us know how it was :)

Santorini is a really beautiful Island. Great beaches, great scenery (a big volcano in front of the island), great restaurants and night life.Specially if you go in good company ;). The lonely planet guide is a good one about the cyclades

I envy you!! :D
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