GRAPHIC VIDEO of lifelong smoker’s black lungs goes viral

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In what has already been dubbed the “best anti-smoking advert ever,” a Chinese transplant surgeon has shared a video of his team removing a blackened pair of lungs from a failed organ donor.

Doctor Chen Jingyu, head surgeon of the transplant team at Wuxi People’s Hospital in the Jiangsu Province, said the patient had died at just 52 years of age, after chain-smoking for 30 years. The man wanted his organs donated, but Jingyu’s team quickly discovered that the blackened lungs were not remotely suitable for transplantation, as the graphic video shows.

The former heavy smoker’s lungs showed all the signs of calcification, bullous lung disease and pulmonary emphysema. The video, which was shared on Chinese social media using the hashtag ‘jieyan’ – the Mandarin for ‘quit smoking’ – has been viewed more than 25 million times. 


“Many smokers in this country have lungs which look like this. Our team decided to reject these lungs for transplant,” Jingyu said. 

“Look at these lungs – do you still have the courage to smoke?”

The patient reportedly did not undergo a CT scan before his death and his lungs were donated shortly thereafter, before anyone could examine them, which is why they made their way to Jingyu’s team. 

“[W]hen we harvested the organs, we realised we wouldn’t be able to use them,” Jingyu said. 

An estimated 26.6 percent of China’s population over the age of 15 smoke, which exacerbates lung problems for a populace already contending with severe pollution in many parts of the country. 

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