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Health Benefits of quitting smoking

As soon as you stop smokingyour health starts improving

It’s not just your lungs that recover when you quit…

  • your sense of smell and taste improve
  • your blood pressure drops and your arteries widen (reducing your chance of suffering a stroke)
  • your risk of heart disease drops
  • you’re less likely to get cancer of various types

Here’s what happens after you stub out your last cigarette:

Day 1

illustration of an electrocardiogram

AFTER 20 MINUTES

Your pulse and heart rate drop as soon as you’ve finished your last cigarette. Your blood pressure starts to return to normal.

illustration of carbon dioxide levels decreasing, and oxygen levels increasing

AFTER 12 HOURS

Your body’s carbon monoxide levels return to normal and your oxygen levels increase.

illustration of blood circulation

AFTER 1 DAY

As your blood pressure drops your circulation improves. You’ve already reduced your risk of heart disease from high blood pressure caused by smoking.

The first week

illustration of an open mouth

AFTER 2 DAYS

Receptors in your nerves begin to heal and your sense of taste and smell will be back to normal.

illustration of the molecular structure or Nicotine, inside a red circle with a diagonal line through it

AFTER 3 DAYS

Your body is now free of nicotine and your energy levels will have increased.

illustration of a brain

TIMELESS BENEFITS:REDUCED STRESS

Studies show people’s stress levels are lower after they stop smoking.

If you find that you’re prone to stress, replacing smoking with a healthier, better way of dealing with stress can give you some real benefits.

The first month

very inaccurate illustration of the blood circulation in the human body

AFTER 2 WEEKS

Your circulation starts to improve, as does your lung function. This in turn makes physical activity, including walking and running, easier.

Your immune system also starts to improve, so you can fight off colds and flu.

You might also find you don’t feel as tired, and that you get fewer headaches.

illustration of lungs

FROM 1 MONTH

You’ll start to cough less and not find yourself as short of breath as when you smoked.

Lung capacity improves by up to 10% within 9 months.

illustration of an embryo

THINKING OF STARTING A FAMILY

Smoking is associated with lots of complications around sex and fertility.

When you stop smoking, as a man you’re less likely to suffer impotence; as a woman, you reduce the chance of having difficulty getting pregnant, and you reduce the risk of miscarriage. You also reduce the chance of your baby being born prematurely or with a low birth weight.

And onwards into your future as a non-smoker

illustration of a heart

AFTER 1 YEAR

Your risk of coronary heart disease is halved compared to when you were a smoker.

People who quit smoking after having a heart attack reduce their chances of having another heart attack by 50%.

illustration of a brain

AFTER 5 YEARS

As far as risk of stroke is concerned, you’re approaching the same level as a nonsmoker.

illustration of a sand-timer

ANOTHER BENEFIT ISTIME ITSELF

No matter how old you are when you quit, stopping smoking increases your life expectancy. 30-year-olds stand to gain almost 10 years of life. If you’re 40, you’ll get 9 extra years; 50? 6 extra years. Stopping at 60 gains you 3 years.

illustration of lungs

AFTER 10 YEARS

Your risk of lung cancer is halved.

Similarly, you’ve now reduced your risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder and cervix, as well as your risk of contracting diseases of the pancreas.

illustration of a heart

AFTER 15 YEARS

Your risk of coronary heart disease is the same as a nonsmoker’s.

illustration of a (stereo)typical family unit

BENEFITS FORTHOSE YOU LOVE

Of course, one benefit is that they’ll have you around for longer, but if you stop smoking, you’ll also reduce their risk of suffering diseases related to second-hand smoke, including pneumonia and asthma.