Smoking causes a lot of stress and damage on your body, but no matter how long you have smoked, it is never too late to quit. Once you stop smoking, your body immediately begins to start to heal and your risk of disease and cancer drops. These positive changes continue many years after you have stopped smoking.
Just 20 minutes after your last cigarette, your heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature go back to normal.
8 hours later, the nicotine level in your body falls 93%, which is significant. Nicotine is what is addicting, so this is why people might crave cigarettes 3 or more times a day.
Your oxygen levels will be almost normal, and the amount of Carbon Monoxide in your body caused by smoking will decrease to normal levels.
Just one day later, your risk of having a heart attack decreases, oxygen levels continue to rise, and you may find it easier to do physical activity. It will be easier to move around because your ability to breathe is increasing.
48 hours later, you will be able to smell and taste better because your taste buds are beginning to heal. While all these positive changes are happening, you will also be feeling angry and irritable because you will be craving nicotine.
On day 3 after quitting, the nicotine has left your body, so the withdrawal symptoms will increase. You may experience headaches and continued irritability. The good news is that it will be easier to breathe, so don’t give up. You’re on the right track!
You will most likely experience 3 cravings per day. You can fight those cravings by concentrating on something else. Remember, your breathing will be better!
After 2 weeks, the circulation of blood in your mouth has returned to normal. Your breath will smell better, and if you are experiencing any gum disease, your mouth begins to heal itself.
The anxiety, depression, and inability to sleep will be gone at this point. You will experience less coughing because your lungs are improving by the day. Your heart attack risk is continuing to go down, and you will continue to be more comfortable when active.
If you have been experiencing congestion due to smoking, this will go away. Your fatigue and shortness of breath will also decrease, and you will continue to breathe better.
Just one year later, your risk of disease, heart attack, and stroke have decreased by 50%.
5 years after your last cigarette, your arteries and blood vessels will widen, which continues to reduce the risk of a stroke.
The risk of cancer has reduced by half.
Your risk of tooth loss after 13 years is the same as someone who does not smoke.
After 15 years, your risk of coronary artery disease, cancer, and other diseases has decreased to the same risk as someone who doesn’t smoke.
While 20 years may seem like a long way away, your risk of dying from a smoking-related disease or illness is the same as a non-smoker.