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.

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