Instead of being a healthy pink, they were charcoal in color and extremely inflamed from decades of tobacco residue clogging them up.
Doctors from the Wuxi People's Hospital in Jiangsu, China, extracted the organs after the 52-year-old man, who had multiple lung diseases, died.
The video, recorded by the surgeons, has been viewed more than 25million times on social media, with users dubbing it the 'best anti-smoking ad ever'.
It was uploaded by the hospital with the caption: 'Do you still have the courage to smoke?'
The patient had signed up to donate his organs after death, but medics quickly realized they would not be able to use them.
Dr. Chen, a lung transplant surgeon and also vice president of the facility, led the operation.
He said: 'The patient didn't undergo a CT scan before his death. He was declared brain dead, and his lungs were donated shortly after that.
'Initial oxygenation index tests were okay, but when we harvested the organs, we realized we wouldn't be able to use them.
'We Chinese love smoking. It would be impractical to say that we wouldn't accept the lungs of all smokers, but there are strict standards.
'[We would accept] lungs from people under 60 years of age who have only recently died, minor infections in the lungs and relatively clean X-rays are also acceptable. If the above conditions are met, we would consider transplanting the lungs.'
Professor Peter Openshaw, of the National Heart and Lung Institute, said the patient had been suffering from lung pulmonary emphysema.
It causes the organs to become severely inflamed and expand and makes sufferers short of breath.
He said that medics may have also inflated the lungs with air or fluid prior to harvesting them for donation.
This makes them look much larger than the normal deflated lung postmortem, he explained.
Dr. Chen uploaded the clip to social media with the hashtag 'jieyan' - Mandarin for 'quit smoking'.
He wrote: 'Many smokers in this country have lungs which look like this.
'Our team decided to reject these lungs for transplant. If you're a heavy smoker, your lungs may not be accepted even if you choose to donate them after death.
'Look at these lungs - do you still have the courage to smoke?'