A post is being shared on social media which advertises a product known as Tar Free, a syrup that allegedly restores the full potential of the lungs of a smoker. Let’s fact-check this claim through this article.
Claim: Tar free, a syrup that helps smokers restore their lungs’ full potential.
Fact: According to the American Lung Association(ALA), lungs are self-cleaning organs, and they start to heal by themselves once they are no longer exposed to pollutants. ALA says that people should not trust quick fixes when it comes to lung health; according to ALA, most of the detox products do not have Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval and ‘do not have adequate scientific data to recommend the routine use of natural remedies for prevention.’ Hence the claim made in the post is MISLEADING.
To find out if it is possible to restore the full capacity of the lungs or to detoxify the lungs of a smoker, we looked on the internet for research done in this area, but we could not find any relevant information. Joshua Englert, MD, a pulmonologist at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, told WebMD that ‘There are countless products for sale on the internet that claim to remove toxins from the lungs, but there is no scientific research to support the use of any of them.’
According to WebMD, ‘ Smoking causes two kinds of long-term damage to the lungs: emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Together, these are known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).’ The tiny air sacs that exchange oxygen are destroyed due to emphysema. ‘In chronic bronchitis, there is inflammation of the airways that lead to the air sacs. Once the air sacs are destroyed, they can’t be replaced,’ though some of the swelling and inflammation from bronchitis can go away, the structural damage will remain. ’ WebMD quotes Norman Edelman, MD, a professor of medicine at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, in their article Lung Detox: Can You Cleanse Your Lungs?
Writing about detox products, The American Lung Association, in their article titled ‘Can You Detox Your Lungs?’, said, ‘ When it comes to lung health, the best general rule to follow is: don’t trust quick fixes.’ Further, they mention that detox remedies seem like a great concept, but many claims are exaggerated. ‘Some common ingredients in supplement-based cleanses have been shown to have positive results, such as Vitamin D, which plays an important role in boosting immune system responses and helps to reduce airway inflammation. But most of these detox products are not FDA-approved and do not have adequate scientific data to recommend the routine use of natural remedies for prevention.’
Speaking to THIP media, Dr Sarthak Rastogi, DNB (Pulmonology), said, “There is no way to reverse engineer the damage is done to the lungs but by quitting one can hope the lungs recover naturally and prevent further damage. Once smoking has stopped the rate of lung function loss is slowed down and there is a gradual fall in the incidence of Cancer compared to active smokers.’’ According to WebMD, ‘One large study found that 20 years after quitting smoking, the risk for COPD drops to the same level as if you’d never smoked.’
Ways to improve your lung health
The American Lung Association states that lungs are self-cleaning organs that start healing once people stop exposing them to harmful pollutants. They recommend quitting smoking, avoiding air pollution, getting adequate exercise, and eating a healthy diet to ensure good lung health. Steps you can follow for optimum lung health –
In summary, there is no conclusive evidence to prove that Lung Detox products cleanse the tar accumulated in the lungs due to smoking.