We hear a lot about the health risks of smoking – but what happens when you quit?
Good news! The effects of smoking are actually reversed with every cigarette you don’t have. Over time, your risk of life-threatening health problems, including cancer, reduces dramatically. As soon as you stop smoking your body begins to repair itself.
The health benefits of quitting smoking:
Within 6 hours
Within a day
Almost all of the nicotine is out of your bloodstream.
The level of carbon monoxide in your blood has dropped and oxygen can more easily reach your heart and muscles.
Your fingertips become warmer and your hands steadier.
Within a week
Within 3 months
You’re coughing and wheezing less.
Your lungs’ natural cleaning system is recovering, becoming better at removing mucus, tar and dust from your lungs (exercise helps to clear out your lungs).
Your immune system is beginning its recovery so your body is better at fighting off infection.
Your blood is less thick and sticky and blood flow to your hands and feet has improved.
Within 6 months
After 1 year
Within 2 to 5 years
There is a large drop in your risk of heart attack and stroke and this risk will continue to gradually decrease over time.
For women, within five years, the risk of cervical cancer is the same as someone who has never smoked.
After 10 years
After 15 years
How fast and how well your body recovers can depend on the number of cigarettes you normally smoke and how long you’ve been smoking, and whether you already have a smoking-related disease.
This article originally appeared at the Quit website