Perks of quitting
Even if you've been smoking for a very long time, quitting will provide immediate health benefits—and it only gets better over time.
20 minutes after quitting
- Your blood pressure slowly returns to normal and your heart rate is already doing better.
- Your circulation improves: your hands and feet are already less cold.
8 hours after quitting
- All the carbon monoxide from your last cigarette has left your bloodstream.
- The concentration of oxygen in your blood slowly returns to normal.
24 hours after quitting
- The risk of having a heart attack is already lower than when you were smoking.
- Nicotine is slowly beginning to be evacuated from your body.
48 hours after quitting
- Your nerve endings are slowly beginning to regenerate themselves.
- Your sense of smell and taste come back to life. Eating is more enjoyable—everything tastes so much better!
2 weeks to 3 months after quitting
- Exercising is easier because your lungs are working better. Your respiratory capacity can increase by 30% if you stopped smoking before irreversible damage was caused to your respiratory system.
- If you're pregnant and you stopped smoking three months before conception, your risk of giving birth to a low birth weight baby is comparable to that of a non-smoker.
9 months to 1 year after quitting
- The cilia in your lungs have regenerated. These facilitate the evacuation of foreign substances and help protect your lungs from disease. So long, persistent coughs, chronic colds, and shortness of breath!
- After one year, you can declare victory: you're a non-smoker! But be careful, you'll have to stay on guard and learn to recognize the situations that might incite you to start again one day.
1 year after quitting
- Among female ex-smokers, the risk of suffering from cervical cancer is the same as it is for non‑smokers.
- The risk of heart disease drops by half after one year and becomes comparable to the risk for a non‑smoker after 10 to 15 years.
- The risk of developing cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, kidney or pancreas continues to drop.
- After 10 years without tobacco, you run twice as little risk of dying from lung cancer. Your lungs will become healthy again over time, unless you suffer from emphysema.