What happens to your body after you quit smoking

Think it's too late to quit smoking? Think again. Give up smoking for good and you could see the benefits almost immediately

What happens to your body after you quit smoking

Source: Adapted from Women’s Health Encyclopedia (Best Health: Reader’s Digest Canada)

When you give up smoking, the results in terms of improvements in your health begin almost immediately. If you can focus on these benefits, it will help you stop successfully.

20 minutes after quitting
Your blood pressure and pulse rate will fall. The temperature of your hands and feet return to normal.

Eight hours after quitting
Carbon monoxide in the blood drops to normal. The oxygen level increases to normal.

24 to 48 hours after quitting
Your chance of heart attack decreases. Your ability to taste and smell is enhanced.

Two to three months after quitting
Your circulation improves. Walking becomes easier. Your lung function increases as much as 30 percent.

Nine months to one year after quitting
Coughing, sinus congestion, fatigue and shortness of breath decrease. Lungs are clearer and more resistant to infection. The risk of coronary heart disease is reduced to half that of a person still smoking.

Three years after quitting smoking
Risk of coronary heart disease and stroke decreases to that of people who have never smoked.

Five years after quitting
The lung cancer rate for the average, former 20-per-day smoker decreases by almost half. Risk of cancer of the mouth, throat and esophagus is half that of a smoker.

10 years after quitting
The lung cancer death rate is similar to that of non-smokers. Precancerous cells are replaced. Risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney and pancreas decreases.

Don’t miss out! Sign up for our free weekly newsletters and get nutritious recipes, healthy weight-loss tips, easy ways to stay in shape and all the health news you need, delivered straight to your inbox.

Related content:

Secrets to Staying Healthy & Happy

No proof antioxidants will lengthen your life

A major review has found no evidence that taking antioxidant supplements will extend your life. In fact, there are even cases where taking supplements could do more harm than good, researchers say.The findings are based on a Cochrane review of some 67 randomized trials involving just under 250,000 people. “We could find no evidence to […]


Power Up Granola

Have this tasty granola for breakfast, or pack it in a bag for a wholesome snack on-the-go.


Debate: Should access to baby formula be limited in hospitals?

When you have a baby, naturally you want to do what’s best for them.That’s the rationale behind New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposed ban on free bottles of baby formula in NY hospitals. Instead of receiving formula handouts, new moms will be advised that breastfeeding is the healthier choice.’Most public health officials around the […]


Meatless Monday: Rice and Black Bean Burgers

Veggie burgers might be one of the easiest meals to throw together. All you need to do is choose your base (lentils, beans, quinoa, etc.) then combine it in a food processor with veggies, spices and seasonings. Add some bread crumbs, form patties and cook them – easy and delicious!These ones have black beans and […]