Benefits of Quiting Smoking

Timeline Benefit - What happens when you quit
20 min.
  • Blood pressure and pulse return to normal.
8 hrs
  • Oxygen levels return to normal.
  • Nicotine and carbon monoxide levels in blood reduce by half.
12 hrs
  • Carbon monoxide levels in blood drop to normal.2
24 hrs
  • Carbon monoxide will be eliminated from the body.
  • Lungs start to clear out mucous and other smoking debris.
48 hrs
  • There is no nicotine left in the body.
  • Ability to taste and smell is greatly improved.
72 hrs
  • Breathing becomes easier.
  • Bronchial tubes begin to relax and energy levels increase.
2-12 weeks
  • Circulation improves.
  • Lung function increases.
3 - 9 months
  • Coughs, wheezing and breathing problems improve as lung functions are increased by up to 10%.
12 months
  • Excess risk of coronary heart disease is reduced by about half and declines gradually hereafter.
5 yrs.
  • Risk of heart attack falls to about half that of a smoker.
  • Risk of stroke returns to the level of people who have never smoked (5 - 15 years).1
10 yrs.
  • Risk of lung cancer falls to about half that of a smoker.
15 yrs.
  • Risk of lung cancer is reduced to close to that observed in nonsmokers.
  • Risk of coronary heart disease falls to the same as someone who has never smoked.
  • If you have quit smoking before age 50 you have halved the risk of dying in the next 15 years compared with continuing smokers.1
Table 1 - Quitting Smoking Timeline - What happens when you quit smoking.


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