What happens in your body when you quit smoking?

Lifestyle
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Few lifestyle changes have as much impact on your long-term health as quitting smoking. But for many, kicking the habit takes several attempts before they can permanently join the ranks of non-smokers. The good news is, you don’t have to wait long to start reaping the health rewards of quitting. Here’s a timeline of changes your body goes through as soon as you quit.

In 20 Minutes

  • Your heart rate drops to a normal level
  • Your blood pressure drops

In 12 Hours

  • The carbon monoxide levels in your blood return to normal
  • The amount of oxygen in your blood returns to normal

In 24 Hours

  • Your risk of coronary artery disease and heart attack start to decline

In 48 Hours

  • Your ability to taste and smell will start to improve

In 3 days

  • Nicotine will be completely out of your system

In 4 days

  • Your bronchial tubes relax

Within 1 Month

  • You’ll feel less winded during exercise or activities
  • Your taste and smell return to normal
  • Stains on your teeth and fingernails start to fade
  • The number of nicotine receptors in your brain return to normal

2 Weeks to 3 Months

  • Your risk of a heart attack starts to drop
  • Your lung function and circulation improve

1 to 9 Months

  • Symptoms like coughing and shortness of breath improve
  • Your lungs can fight off infection and clear mucus more easily

1 Year

  • Your risk of coronary artery disease is half of what it was when you were smoking
  • Your heart attack risk drops sharply

2 to 5 Years

  • Your risk of stroke is the same as a nonsmoker’s

5 Years

  • Your risk of cervical cancer is the same as a nonsmoker’s
  • Your risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus or bladder is half of what it was when you were smoking

10 Years

  • Your risk of lung cancer is half of what it was when you were smoking
  • Your risk of kidney, larynx (voice box) or pancreatic cancers decreases

15 Years

  • Your risk of coronary artery disease is the same as a nonsmoker’s
  • Your risk of other heart conditions, like arrhythmia, is also back to normal levels

The body starts healing itself as soon as you put out that last cigarette. Questions about quitting? Call our free nurse advice line Consult-A-Nurse® at 866-319-3663.

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