Health benefits

You will feel the benefits of quitting as your body repairs itself.

  • 20 minutes after quitting

    • Your heart rate slows and your blood pressure decreases.
  • Within a day

    • Almost all of the nicotine is out of your bloodstream.
    • The level of carbon monoxide in your blood drops to normal.
    • Oxygen can more easily reach your heart and muscles.
  • Within a week

    • Your sense of taste and smell may improve.
    • Your lungs’ natural cleaning system is starting to recover and improve.
  • Within 2 months

    • Your coughing and wheezing decrease.
    • 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

    • Your lungs are working much better, producing less phlegm.
    • You’re likely to feel less stressed than when you were smoking.
  • After 1 year

    • Your lungs are now healthier and you’ll be breathing easier than if you’d kept smoking.
  • 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

    • Your risk of lung cancer drops by half (provided the disease was not already present when you quit).
    • Your risks of cancers of the mouth, throat, bladder, kidney, oesophagus, bladder, and pancreas decreases.
  • After 15 years

    • Your risk of heart attack and stroke is close to that of a person who has never smoked.
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Page last updated: 26 Jan 2017