Within 20 minutes of stopping smoking

  • Blood pressure drops to normal
  • Pulse slows to normal
  • Temperature of hands and feet increases to normal
  • Damage to your heart begins to subside

Within 8 hours

  • Carbon monoxide level in blood decreases to near zero
  • Oxygen level in blood increases to normal within 12 hours
  • Nicotine is all out of the body

Within 24 hours

  • Chance of a heart attack decreases by 50%
  • Lungs start to clear out mucus and smoking debris

Within 48 hours

  • Damaged nerve endings start to re-grow
  • Senses of smell and taste begin to improve

Within 72 hours

  • Bronchial tubes relax, making breathing easier

2 weeks to 3 months

  • Blood circulation improves throughout the body
  • Exercise becomes easier
  • Lung function increases by 30%

1 to 9 months

  • Coughing, shortness of breath and sinus congestion all decrease
  • Cilia re-grow in lungs, increasing the lungs’ ability to clean themselves and reduce frequency of infections

One year

  • Risk of heart disease is reduced by half
  • Risk of lung cancer is reduced by half

Five years

  • Risk of stroke decreases to the level of a non-smoker

10 years

  • Precancerous cells in the body are replaced by healthy cells
  • Incidences of other cancers (mouth, larynx, esophagus, bladder, kidney, and pancreas) all decrease

15 years

  • Overall risk of death nearly returns to the level of someone who never smoked
  • Risk of heart disease returns to levels of a non smoker

20 years

  • Risk of lung cancer returns to levels close to those of a non smoker


Source: American College of Chest Physicians



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This page last updated Nov 28, 2016