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Benefits When You Quit Smoking

These are just a few of the benefits of quitting smoking for good – see the timeline of quitting smoking below and how your health can improve over time.

Quitting smoking lowers the risk for cancer, coronary heart disease and improves the functioning of blood vessels, the heart and lungs.

Quitting while you are younger will reduce your health risks more, but quitting at any age can give back years of life that would otherwise be lost if continue to smoke.

  • 20 minutes after last cigarette, blood pressure and pulse rate drops; body temperature rises toward normal
  • 8 hours after quitting, carbon monoxide level in blood drops to normal; oxygen level rises to normal
  • 24 hours after quitting, chance of a heart attack decreases
  • 48 hours after quitting, nerve endings start re-growing; ability to smell and taste is enhanced
  • 2 weeks to 3 months after quitting, circulation improves; walking becomes easier; lung function improves
  • 1 to 9 months after quitting, there is a decrease in coughing; sinus congestion; fatigue; shortness of breath
  • 1 year after quitting, excess risk of coronary heart disease is decreased to half that of a smoker
  • 5 years after quitting, risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder are cut in half; cervical cancer risk falls to that of a non-smoker
  • After 5 to 15 years, stroke risk is reduced to that of non-smokers
  • 10 years after quitting, risk of lung cancer drops to as little as one-half that of continuing smokers; risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, oesophagus, bladder, kidney and pancreas decreases; risk of ulcer decreases
  • 15 years after quitting, risk of coronary heart disease is now similar to that of people who have never smoked; risk of death returns to nearly the level of people who have never smoked

Choose Healthier Lungs:

Non-smokers lungs vs Smokers lungs

Non-smokers lungs vs Smokers lungs


Image (left): courtesy of Body Worlds

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