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What Happens When You Quit Smoking | Immediate and Long Term Benefits

Mike Barrett
June 11th, 2012
Updated 10/23/2014 at 2:40 pm
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smokingno 235x147 What Happens When You Quit Smoking | Immediate and Long Term Benefits

While many people may not know everything smoking can potentially lead to, it is well known that nothing positive on a health level can come out the activity. Advertisers and Hollywood have successfully hammered the idea of smoking into our brains over the last few decades through placement in movies and TV shows, but thankfully people now know the truth concerning the negative health effects and child influence. Of course not all smokers want to quit, but for those who do, you may be surprised to find out what happens when you quit smoking.

What Happens When You Quit Smoking?

If a cigarette is in your mouth right now, finish it. Once you finish it, don’t ever pick up another one. If you did this right now, your body would go through amazing changes starting just 20 minutes after you finish that cigarette.

If you want to quit but are having a difficult time mentally shifting, learning what happens when you quit smoking may very well provide you with that final push. The health effects of smoking can be terrible, but the effects of quitting can be phenomenal. This positive spin on the benefits of quitting rather than the negative effects of continuing may be what one needs.

Here are some of the many benefits of quitting smoking and a timeline of what will happen once you quit smoking. You may (or may not) be surprised by what you see.

Let us know what you think of this.

 smoking timeline 2070x1530 What Happens When You Quit Smoking | Immediate and Long Term Benefits

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  • In about 20 minutes, your blood pressure and pulse rate will decrease, and the body temperature of your hands and feet will increase.
  • At approximately the 8-12 hour mark, the carbon monoxide level in your blood will decrease to normal and your blood oxygen level will increase to normal.
  • At 24 hours the chance of you having a heart attack decreases significantly.
  • At about 48 hours, nerve endings begin to regrow and your ability to smell and taste is enhanced.
  • Between 2 weeks and 3 months, your circulation improves, walking becomes easier, and coughing and wheezing is experienced less often. Phlegm production decreases and at about the 3 month mark, lung function is significantly improved.
  • Between 1 and 9 months, you will experience all of the benefits already listed  in addition to less sinus congestion, fatigue, and shortness of breath. Cilia, tiny hair-like structures that move mucus out of the lungs, also regain normal function.
  • In 1 year, your risk of coronary heart disease and heart attacks is reduced by half of what it used to be when you were a smoker.
  • Between 5 and 15 years, the risk of having a stroke returns to normal, before you started smoking.
  • At about the 10 year mark, your chance of developing various cancers including cancer of the lungs, mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney, and pancreas, greatly decreases. Risk of lung cancer reverts to that of a non-smoker. In fact, Diet and smoking habits make up nearly 60 percent of cancer cases.
  • In about 15 years, your risk of coronary heart disease and heart attack shifts to that of a person who has never smoked before. The risk of death also drops nearly to the level of a non-smoker.

Even with the exclusion of the incredible amount of money you would save from quitting as well as the negative influence being omitting from society, the above benefits of quitting are more than convincing. So what happens when you quit smoking? Your health once again returns.

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About Mike Barrett:
2.thumbnail What Happens When You Quit Smoking | Immediate and Long Term Benefits Google Plus Profile |Mike is the co-founder, editor, and researcher behind Natural Society. Studying the work of top natural health activists, and writing special reports for top 10 alternative health websites, Mike has written hundreds of articles and pages on how to obtain optimum wellness through natural health.

From around the web:

  • Liza

    My mom is a frequent smoker until last year, when we learned about her heart condition with angina, that's the only time that she decided to quit. May this be a lesson to everyone, to quit smoking before it's never too late.

  • Toe

    I quit smoking 2 years ago and one of the first things I remember is how clear my skin became. I remember it used to be blotchy and greasy, I hate looking at old photographs!

  • Carrie

    My husband quit smoking after 40 yrs in Sept 2013. His biggest problem is not the not smoking but the indigestion/bloating. He did gain weight in the beginning, but is back on track now with his eating habits and is exercising also, but still dealing with the stomach stuff in a big way. Anyone else have that problem?

  • dan

    Quit three weeks ago after smoking for 24 years and am now starting to run to helo kick the habbit

    • dan

      Forgot to mention I have tryed all the nicotine placement products out there to no avail. So am doing it this time cold turkey and it’s working. And I am finding this to be the best way by far.

  • Lance

    After smoking for 20 yrs I quit cold turkey January 18th 2002 for 3 years – then started smoking again. I felt so much better/was exercising again/& was very proud of my accomplishment – but slowly slipped back into full time smoking after having 1 cigarette one night out having drinks with friends during a troubled time at my job. All my improved health/exersice & pride in what I had accomplished soon burned away with every cigarette I smoked. The sluggish tired feeling & shortness of breath returned all to soon & I couldn’t believe I had fallen back into that state. I was in that state for another 8 yrs. Well – I’m kicking the habit AGAIN!
    I quit cold turkey January 1st 2013 – and so far so good – it feels GREAT to not be smoking again.
    I guess my point is . . Never take the fact that you quit for granted . . and never give up trying to quit.

  • Linda

    I quit three days ago. Wow it's hard. I have to keep reminding myself why I am quitting and reminding myself if I pick up a cigarette, I will have to relive the last three days again like groundhog day. That's what's helping me to tough it out in these first few days. I smoked for 20 years a pack a day. Pulmonologist did tests and said I am at the pre emphysema stage. Boy am I a bitch to live with right now though…..really moody. :(

  • john

    quit smoking January 9 2012. Almost one year, can not be leave how much better i feel. I was always a very active person. hiking, bicycle, gym.

  • dale

    Quit cold turkey on July 9, 2012 – it was one of the items on my daughters 15 birthday wish list.

    My father-in-law died of cancer on July 23, 2012 – life long smoker..

  • Angie

    You also begin to smell better. Your mouth taste better and you do not have smokers breath

  • Sue

    Wow, the most compelling article to quit smoking I have ever read!

    I quit 30 years ago, took many tries, but I finally managed because I did it for my then boyfriend (now husband) as a Xmas present.

    Sometimes you gotta do it for somebody else you love!