Health Benefits of Quitting

Did you know that when you quit smoking you could experience health benefits of quitting in as little as twenty minutes? Here’s a quick timeline of all the main health benefits your body will experience when you quit smoking.

20 minutes

  • Blood pressure and pulse drop to normal
  • Hands and feel start to warm up

8 hours

  • Carbon monoxide level in blood drops to normal
  • Oxygen level in blood increases to normal and makes you feel more energetic

24 hours

  • Chance of heart attack decreases

48 hours

  • Sense of smell and taste improve
  • Nerve endings start to regrow

72 hours

  • Bronchial tubes relax

2 weeks to 3 months

  • Circulation, lung function, and stamina improve

1 to 9 months

  • Coughing, shortness of breath and sinus congestion decrease
  • Cilia regrow in the lungs, clean the lungs and reduce infection
  • Overall energy increases

1 year

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

5 years

  • Risk of stroke is the same as that of a nonsmoker
  • Risks of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus and bladder are cut in half
  • Risk of cervical cancer falls to that of a nonsmoker

10 years

  • Lung cancer risk is half that of a smoker
  • Risk of pancreatic cancer is roughly the same as a nonsmoker
  • Precancerous cells are replaced

15 years

  • Risk of heart disease is that of a nonsmoker
  • Risk of death is nearly the same as a nonsmoker

No matter how long you’ve been a smoker, there are always benefits to quitting. If you’re ready to see the health benefits of quitting, take a look at our quit smoking resources or find a Courage to Quit® program near you.

Infographic of the the health benefits of quitting:

Infographic timeline showing the health benefits of quitting smoking from 20 minutes to 15 years after quitting.

Timeline source: Centers of Disease Control and Prevention