What Happens When You Quit Smoking
Many people wonder if quitting is really worth the effort. Does a decision to quit smoking really result in improved health? Does quitting really lead to reduced risk of cancer and other diseases? Can your body really repair itself after you quit smoking even when you have already done years of damage? What happens when you quit smoking anyway?
Twenty Minutes After You Quit
Within only twenty minutes after you decide to have your last cigarette you will begin to have less stress on the heart as the heart rate drops and the blood pressure is reduced. The strain that nicotine places on the heart can lead to lifelong consequences including heart attack, stroke and other complications with the cardiovascular system. Many of these risks are reduced mere minutes after your last cigarette.
Twelve Hours After You Quit
Within less than a day of your decision to quit smoking the levels of carbon monoxide that are found in your blood stream will drop to a normal level. Carbon monoxide is a harmful gas that is released into the blood through carcinogens and other toxins in cigarettes. When you decide to quit, your body will begin to return to a normal state in just twelve hours.
Two Weeks After You Quit
Within two weeks of your decision to quit smoking your risk of heart attack will have dropped significantly. The circulation within your gums and teeth have returned to a normal function of that of a nonsmoker by this time. Anger, depression and most of the other complications that you felt during the worst of the withdrawal phase should have ceased by now also leaving you feeling hopeful that you can quit and that you will come out on top.
Three Months After You Quit
Within three months of your last cigarette, your heart attack risk has been reduced dramatically and you will notice improved lung function. Most of the time, chronic cough associated with cigarette smoking will have dissipated by now and you will feel much better. Physical fitness is improving as your lung capacity and ability to distribute oxygen throughout the body has greatly improved.
One Year After You Quit
At the one year anniversary of your decision to quit smoking your risk of heart disease will be half of that of a smoker. This risk will continue to go down with each subsequent year that you go without smoking cigarettes and by now, you won’t really even think about cigarettes. Nightmares, cravings and other side effects of your habit are mostly gone by now and things are really looking up for the future.
Five Years After You Quit
At your five year anniversary for quitting you will no longer have an increased risk of stroke. In fact, five years after you quit smoking your risk of stroke is the same as the risk that an individual who doesn’t smoke and never did smoke has. For female ex-smokers, the risk of diabetes is the same as the risk of a nonsmoker at the five year point following the last cigarette.