What Happens When You Quit Smoking?
If a cigarette is in your mouth right now, finish it. Once you finish it, don’t ever pick up another one. If you did this right now, your body would go through amazing changes starting just 20 minutes after you finish that cigarette.
If you want to quit but are having a difficult time mentally shifting, learning what happens when you quit smoking may very well provide you with that final push. The health effects of smoking can be terrible, but the effects of quitting can be phenomenal. This positive spin on the benefits of quitting rather than the negative effects of continuing may be what one needs.
Here are some of the many benefits of quitting smoking and a timeline of what will happen once you quit smoking. You may (or may not) be surprised by what you see.
Click for a larger version of this image.
- In about 20 minutes, your blood pressure and pulse rate will decrease, and the body temperature of your hands and feet will increase.
- At approximately the 8-12 hour mark, the carbon monoxide level in your blood will decrease to normal and your blood oxygen level will increase to normal.
- At 24 hours the chance of you having a heart attack decreases significantly.
- At about 48 hours, nerve endings begin to regrow and your ability to smell and taste is enhanced.
- Between 2 weeks and 3 months, your circulation improves, walking becomes easier, and coughing and wheezing is experienced less often. Phlegm production decreases and at about the 3 month mark, lung function is significantly improved. Advertising
- Between 1 and 9 months, you will experience all of the benefits already listed in addition to less sinus congestion, fatigue, and shortness of breath. Cilia, tiny hair-like structures that move mucus out of the lungs, also regain normal function.
- In 1 year, your risk of coronary heart disease and heart attacks is reduced by half of what it used to be when you were a smoker.
- Between 5 and 15 years, the risk of having a stroke returns to normal, before you started smoking.
- At about the 10 year mark, your chance of developing various cancers including cancer of the lungs, mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney, and pancreas, greatly decreases. Risk of lung cancer reverts to that of a non-smoker. In fact, Diet and smoking habits make up nearly 60 percent of cancer cases.
- In about 15 years, your risk of coronary heart disease and heart attack shifts to that of a person who has never smoked before. The risk of death also drops nearly to the level of a non-smoker.