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United States

I had smoked for 13 years, and I quitted smoking 2 yrs and half ago. May I use the word “detox”? Such as “I just detoxed from smoking 2 years ago.” instead of “I quitted smoking 2 yrs ago”? However, your explaination of “detox” is “to take a break from” . Does that mean “quit sth temporarily”?

01:01 AM Dec 02 2016 |

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Teacher AmySuper Member!

United States


Great question! 

Often, when US English speakers use “detox,” they talk about stopping something for a certain amount of time. For example:

- I need to detox from social media. I’ve been on Snapchat way too much this week. 

- I am on a detox diet this week, so I am only drinking juice. 

However, the true meaning of “detox” is to clean toxins from the body. When a person is detoxified, they have removed these bad substances from their body. Maybe, they will use these substances again, or maybe, they will not. 

With your example, I would probably say:

- I quit smoking two-and-a-half years ago. My body needed one month to detox, but then I felt much better. 

I would not replace the word “quit” with the word “detox” because the meanings are a little different. However, “detox” can describe the process of your body’s change after you quit. You stopped detoxifying when there were no more cigarette chemicals in your body. 



10:39 PM Dec 02 2016 |


United States

The explaination couldn’t be better. Thank you for such a long and detailed answer.

06:33 AM Dec 04 2016 |