Quitting Stories

Quitting Smoking: A Timeline

January 15, 2024
5 min

Have you ever wondered what happens to your body when youquit smoking? The good news is that the sooner you stop, the sooner you'll start experiencing positive changes in your body and overall health. While looking for more insights, I found an interesting piece by theNHS that inspired this article. Let's take a closer look at what happens to your body when you completely stop smoking.

Day 1 to Day 3

Within just 20 minutes of putting out your last cigarette butt, your pulse rate will already be returning to normal, signaling the beginning of positive changes. After 8 hours, your oxygen levels will start to recover, and the harmful carbon monoxide in your blood will decrease by half. All carbon monoxide is flushed out just 48 hours after quitting, your lungs will begin to clear out mucus, and your senses of taste and smell will start to improve. At the 72-hour mark, you'll notice that breathing feels easier as your bronchial tubes relax and your energy levels increase.

2 Weeks and Beyond

As time goes on, the benefits of quitting smoking continue to multiply. Between 2 and 12 weeks after quitting, your circulation improves, allowing blood to pump more efficiently to your heart and muscles. After 3 to 9 months, any coughs, wheezing, or breathing problems will improve by up to 10% as lung function increases. The milestone of 1 year marks a significant turning point, as your risk of heart attack halves compared to that of a smoker. Finally, after ten years, the risk of death from lung cancer is also halved, bringing you long-term peace of mind.

Quitting smoking is a transformative journey that leads to a multitude of benefits.

Positive changes are guaranteed, from improved breathing, circulation, and lung function to reduced risk of heart attack and lung cancer. Take charge of your life today by quitting for good. Your body will thank you. And if you ever need more reasons to quit, check out my other bite-sized articles. 

Your smoke-free buddy,

Photo: Freepik