12 Mind-Blowing Ways Your Body Heals After You Quit Smoking
When you quit smoking and no longer inhale the 4,800 toxic substances found in cigarettes, you experience enormous positive changes in your health, fitness, and risks of heart disease and cancer.
Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.
After 20 minutes
Circulation begins to improve in the hands and feet, says Len Horowitz, MD, a pulmonary specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. Keep on with the smoking and circulation all over your body will suffer. Find out what helped ex-smokers finally quit.
After 2 hours
Pulse, heartbeat, and blood pressure may return to their pre-smoking baseline, Dr. Horovitz says. In the case of pregnant women: the heartbeat of the unborn child will also begin to return to normal. Try these 23 ways to stop smoking for good.
After 12 hours
Carbon monoxide in your blood returns to normal, according to the World Health Organization. Carbon monoxide is a poisonous, colorless and odorless gas found in high levels in cigarette smoke, among other things.
After 24 hours
Your risk of heart attack may begin to drop, Dr. Horovitz says. Here are 30 more ways to reduce your heart attack risk.
After 2 days
Your sense of smell and taste may start to improve, Dr. Horovitz says. Inspired to ditch the habit? This is how you can quit smoking without gaining weight.
After 3 days
The repair process in your lungs begins and breathing starts to improve, Dr. Horovitz says. The little hairs on the lungs (cilia) recover. They transport particles from the lungs. Here are even more ways to take back your health after you kick the smoking habit.
After 3 weeks
Nicotine is likely completely eliminated from your body, Dr. Horovitz says. Nicotine can be stored in fat cells after years of smoking. As a result, it can take longer to be eliminated based on your weight, he explains. (This is how much nicotine is in one cigarette.)
After 3 months
Skin tone improves, Dr. Horovitz says. Here are more tips to improve your complexion and skin tone from top dermatologists.
After 12 months
Your risk of cardiovascular disease is cut in half, The WHO states. “Smoking is the No. 1 cause of heart disease,” Dr. Horovitz points out.
After 5 years
The risk of stomach, mouth, throat, esophageal, and lung cancer may be reduced, Dr. Horovitz says. Find out the 9 physical and emotional ways heart disease is different for women. In addition, stroke risk, the WHO states. Smoking is one of the stroke risk factors you can control.
After 10 years
The risk of lung cancer continues to drop. The risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, and kidneys continues to drop, Dr. Horovitz says. Here are 30 other ways to prevent cancer.
After 15 years
Want to kick the habit in 30 days?
Get more tips about the science of why we smoke and how to stop (without gaining weight) and with proven strategies you can personalize, read I Know You Like to Smoke But You Can Quit Now, available on Amazon. Next, learn more about the 11 things doctors wish you knew about lung cancer.