Smoking Cessation: Stop-Smoking Benefits Timeline

Health benefits you can expect from the day you quit. And the benefits cumulate over time.
From as early as within 20 minutes of stopping smoking, your body starts to experience immediate changes for the better. Indeed, the decision to stop smoking can be one of the most important ones that you'll ever make, and the health benefits cumulate as you continue to lead a smoke-free lifestyle.

Stop-Smoking Benefits Timeline

Quit Day
  • Your blood pressure and heart rate return to normal.
  • Blood flow to your hands and feet improves.
  • Your blood oxygen level increases to a normal level.
  • The level of carbon monoxide is your blood drops to a normal level.

  • Day 2
  • Your risk of heart attack begins to decrease.
  • Your senses of smell and taste begin to improve.

  • Day 3
  • Over 90 percent of all nicotine metabolites have been flushed from your body.
  • Your bronchial tubes relax and lung capacity increases, making it easier to breathe.

  • Weeks 1-4
  • Your body has physically adjusted to functioning without nicotine.
  • Your circulation has improved.
  • You cough less and start to produce less phlegm.

  • Months 1-3
  • Your heart attack risk continues to drop.
  • Your lung function has improved substantially.
  • Smoking-related sinus congestion and shortness of breath decrease.
  • You have more energy.

  • Year 1
  • Your risk of coronary heart disease and heart attack has reduced by half.

  • Year 5
  • Your risk of stroke reduces by up to half.

  • Year 10
  • Your risk of lung cancer reduces by up to half.
  • Your risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, cervix and pancreas decrease.

  • Year 15
  • Your risk of coronary heart disease equals that of a person who never smoked.
  • Your risk of stroke equals that of a person who never smoked.
  • Your risk of death equals that of a person who never smoked.

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