When smokers quit-What are the benefits over time?

by Jenny Novac on May 20, 2011

20 minutes after quitting

Your heart rate and blood pressure drop.

12 hours after quitting

The carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.

2 weeks to 3 months after quitting

Your circulation improves and your lung function increases.

Giving up smoking

1 to 9 months after quitting

Coughing and shortness of breath decrease; cilia (tiny hair-like structures that move mucus out of the lungs) start to regain normal function in the lungs, increasing the ability to handle mucus, clean the lungs, and reduce the risk of infection.

Quit smoking

1 year after quitting

The excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a continuing smoker’s.

5 years after quitting

Risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder are cut in half. Cervical cancer risk falls to that of a non-smoker. Stroke risk can fall to that of a non-smoker after 2-5 years.

10 years after quitting

The risk of dying from lung cancer is about half that of a person who is still smoking. The risk of cancer of the larynx and pancreas decreases.

15 years after quitting

Quit smoking after 15 years

The risk of coronary heart disease is that of a non-smoker’s.

These are just a few of the benefits of quitting smoking for good. Quitting while you are younger will reduce your health risks more, but quitting at any age can give back years of life that would be lost by continuing to smoke.

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