What happens after you quit smoking for a day, week, month, year?
There’s no doubt about it — quitting cigarette smoking, especially if you have been a long-time addict, is incredibly challenging! However, the vast benefits of quitting far outweigh the drawbacks once you get past the most difficult of cravings. If you’re looking to stop the habit, you’ll be pleased to hear that the body shows improvement in health sooner than we think.
Read on to see our timeline of the body’s reaction to quitting smoking. Let it motivate you to push further and further!
Short Term Benefits of Quitting Smoking
- An hour: In as little as 20 minutes after putting out your last cigarette, your heart rate begins to drop towards a normal level
- 12 hours: The body’s carbon monoxide levels return to normal, which in turn increases its oxygen levels.
- 1 day: A full day after quitting smoking sees the beginning of a decrease in blood pressure and the risk of a heart attack. Because oxygen levels are a little higher, it’ll already be easier to do physical activity in order to further promote heart health!
- 2 days: You may notice a heightened sense of taste and smell after just two days, since the nerves responsible for these functions will have begun healing.
- 3 days: The three-day mark is when nicotine levels are drastically depleted. This is of course a good thing in the long run, but it’s important to note withdrawal will cause irritability, headaches and cravings at this point!
- 1 month: Less coughing and shortness of breath becomes apparent in as little as one month of breaking the smoking habit.
Long Term Benefits of Quitting Smoking
- 3 months: All of the aforementioned functions continue to improve for several months
- 9 months: At this point, the lungs will have significantly improved in form and function.
- 1 year: The risk of coronary heart disease is cut in half!
- 5 years: The arteries and blood vessels throughout the body, which are narrowed as a result of cigarette toxins, will have widened enough to drastically lower the risk of clotting thus strokes. This risk continues to drop year after year.
- 10 years: A person’s likelihood to develop lung cancer is cut in half. Other cancers tied to cigarette use – like mouth, throat, and pancreatic cancer – will have significantly reduced as well.
- 15 years: At the fifteen year mark, the chance of developing coronary heart disease and pancreatic cancer is shown to be the same as a non-smoker’s.
- 20 years: Twenty years marks when the risk of death from smoking-related causes is equivalent to somebody who has never smoked.
Quitting Smoking Tracker Apps
There are a number of resources available to help you quit smoking and track your progress. Healthline has a great list of the best mobile apps out there!