Shocking footage depicts a tar-colored lung of a 52-year-old man who has been smoking chains for 30 years.
A viral video viewed more than 25 million times shows doctors removing organs from a dead man's brain after his request to donate them.
But instead of being a healthy pink, they are darkened by decades of accumulating tobacco residue.
The footage – dubbed by social media users "the best anti-smoking ad ever" – shows Dr. Chen Jingyu and his transplant team examining the lungs at Wuxi People's Hospital in Jiangsu, China.
Dr Chen, a leading lung transplant surgeon and vice president of the institution, said the donor was declared brain dead and his organs donated.
However, after harvesting, the doctor quickly realized that he would not be able to give the lung to a patient in need of waiting lists, citing issues such as lung calcification, bullous lung disease and pulmonary emphysema – all thought to be the result of three decades of smoking.
Using the hashtag & # 39; jieyan & # 39; – tangerine to & # 39; stop smoking & # 39; – Dr. Chen wrote: "Many smokers in this country have lungs that look like this.
"Our team decided to reject those lungs for transplantation.
"If you are a heavy smoker, your lungs will not be accepted even if you choose to donate them after death.
"Look at these lungs – do you still have the courage to smoke?"
Later, Chen told local media: "The patient was not subjected to a CT scan before death. He was declared brain dead and his lungs donated shortly thereafter.
"Initial oxygenation tests were fine, but when we took the organs, we realized we wouldn't be able to use them.
"We Chinese love smoking. It would be impractical to say that we would not accept the lungs of all smokers, but there are strict standards.
"This includes lungs below the age of 60 in a patient who has only recently been declared medically dead; minor infections in the lungs and relatively clear chest x-rays are also acceptable.
"If the above conditions are met, we will consider a lung transplant."
According to a 2018 study by China's Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 26.6 percent of the country's population over the age of 15 smokes.
In 2017, the World Health Organization reported that worldwide tobacco use causes a death of 7 million a year.