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Quitting Benefits

Smoking negatively affects every part of your body:


Immediately After Quitting

At 20 minutes after quitting:

  • Blood pressure decreases
  • Pulse rate drops

Body temperature of hands and feet increases

At 8 hours:

  • Carbon monoxide level in blood drops to normal
  • Oxygen level in blood increases to normal

At 24 hours:

  • Chance of a heart attack decreases

At 48 hours:

  • Nerve endings start re-growing
  • Ability to smell and taste is enhanced


First Year After Quitting

At 2 weeks to 3 months:

  • Circulation improves
  • Walking becomes easier
  • Lung function increases

1 to 9 months:

  • Coughing, sinus congestion, fatigue, shortness of breath decreases

1 Year

  • Excess risk of coronary heart disease is decreased to half that of a smoker


Long Term Benefits of Quitting

At 5 Years:

  • From 5 to 15 years after quitting, stroke risk is reduced to that of people who have never smoked.

At 10 Years:

  • Risk of lung cancer drops to as little as one-half that of continuing smokers
  • Risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney and pancreas decreases
  • Risk of ulcer decreases

At 15 years:

  • 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


Source: American Lung Association, 2004