Although it’s not possible to reverse the harm done by years of heavy smoking, you can still enjoy considerable health improvement after quitting. Take a look at the short-term and long-term effects of smoking cessation.
20 minutesWhen you quit smoking, your blood pressure and pulse return to normal within 20 minutes. Don’t smoke for 20 minutes, and you can notice the change yourself.
This is just a glimpse into the potential to improve.
8 hoursIt takes around eight hours for nicotine and carbon monoxide levels in the blood to drop by half and for oxygen to resume the normal level.
12 hoursWithin twelve hours from quitting smoking, carbon monoxide levels return to normal. The carbon monoxide will then be completely eliminated from the system within 24 hours. As part of this process, smoking debris and mucous will be cleared from the lungs.
2 daysBetter taste and smell ability represent other serious benefits of quitting smoking, and you can notice the change after just two nicotine-free days.
9 monthsIt takes up to nine months for 10% improvement to appear in lung functions. It sounds like a long period of time, but you’ll feel much better when the wheezing, coughs, and breathing problems are gone.
5 yearsThe risk of stroke lowers to the level of non-smokers only after 5-15 years of remaining nicotine-free. It becomes a lot more unlikely to develop lung cancer: the risk drops by half.
Gradually, the bronchial tubes in the lungs relax, and you start breathing a lot more easily. Lung function thus returns to normal, and the former smoker enjoys a higher energy level.
Moreover, the life expectancy of someone who’s quit smoking is much higher. The risk of coronary heart disease drops by half and so does the risk of heart attacks.
Last but not least, smokers run the very serious risk of dying before turning 65. If you quit before turning 50, that risk gets significantly lower as well.