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Health Journey Support | When Smokers Quit

Healthy changes in the body begin 20 minutes after smoking that last cigarette, and continue to improve the longer you stop smoking. Sources: MedlinePlus, A service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health; American Cancer Society, Inc.; World Health Organization, Tobacco Free Initiative.

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When Smokers Quit

Healthy changes in the body begin 20 minutes after smoking that last cigarette.

20 Minutes After Quitting

  • Heart rate and blood pressure drop

8 Hours After Quitting

  • Carbon monoxide level in the blood drops to normal

  • Oxygen level in the blood increases to normal

48 Hours After Quitting

  • Nerve endings start to regrow

  • Ability to smell and taste begins to return to normal

2 Weeks to 3 Months After Quitting

  • Blood circulation improves

  • Lung function improves

1 to 9 Months After Quitting

  • Coughing and shortness of breath improve

  • Cilia start to regain normal function in the lungs, increasing the ability to handle mucus, clean the lungs, and reduce risk of infection

1 Year After Quitting

  • Risk of coronary heart disease drops to half that of a smoker

5 to 15 Years After Quitting

  • Stroke risk is reduced to that of a nonsmoker

10 Years After Quitting

  • Risk of lung cancer falls to about half that of a person who is still smoking
  • Risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, cervix, and pancreas decreases

Sources: 1. MedlinePlus, A service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH). https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/007532.htm. Accessed 4/1/14. 2. American Cancer Society, Inc., https://www.cancer.org/healthy/stayawayfromtobacco/guidetoquit- tingsmoking/guide-to-quitting-smoking-toc. Accessed 4/1/14. 3. World Health Organization. Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI). https://www.who.int/tobacco/quitting/benefits/en/#. Accessed 4/1/14.