Researchers agree it's not the most ideal situation, but they say people in need of a lung transplant are better off getting the donated lung of a smoker than not getting one at all.
The study published Tuesday in the medical journal, Lancet, shows recipients live a little longer, but not as long as someone with a non-smoker lung.
The study says of 1295 lung transplantation's, 510 used lungs from donors with positive smoking histories.
Recipients of such lungs had worse 3 year survival after transplantation than did those who received lungs from donors with negative smoking histories.
The study also says patients receiving lungs from donors with positive smoking histories had a lower unadjusted hazard of death after registration than did those who remained on the waiting list.