What Happens When you Quit Smoking - The Fitness Cafe

September 1, 20161960

Smoking is bad for you for a variety of reasons. You already know that!

There is no better time to quit than right now! The best way to quit is cold turkey! Why? Because in as little as 20 minutes of quitting, you will start feeling the difference in your body. Don’t believe us? Read these facts about what happens to your body when you quit smoking and decide for yourself.


20 minutes after you quit smoking

As early as 20 minutes after quitting, your heart rate and blood pressure start to drop back to normal levels. You already start to benefit from quitting.

2 hours after you quit smoking

At this point, your blood pressure and pulse will be close to normal rate. Your hands and feet start to warm up as your blood circulation improves. You will start feeling withdrawal symptoms. These include nicotine cravings and anxiety. Your appetite will increase.

Related: What Happens Inside Your Body When You Drink Soda 

12 hours after you quit smoking

The level of carbon monoxide in your blood drops down to almost normal. Subsequently, the level of oxygen in your blood increases.

24 hours after you quit smoking

The risk for heart disease and heart attack begins to decrease. In as little as a day after quitting, you can start feeling the positive effects of not smoking. You might feel intense cravings. Do not give in. Try alternates like nicotine patches or nicotine gum.

2-3 days after you quit smoking

After quitting for about 2-3 days, you sense of taste and smell improve. At this point, the nicotine will be completely out of your system if you are not using nicotine patches or gum. Your bronchial tubes will relax. Nicotine withdrawal symptoms will be at their highest level around this time. You may experience emotional and psychological issues like headaches, nausea, anxiety and frustration. This is the hardest phase. If you can get through this, you can definitely quit forever. Keep going!

2-3 weeks after you quit smoking

At this point your blood circulation, stamina and lung function significantly improve. You are able to breathe normally. You will be able to perform physical activities without being short of breath. Nicotine withdrawal symptoms will start to subside and you will start to feel much better about yourself.

1-9 months after you quit smoking

During this period, the tiny hair linings in your lungs known as cilia begin to repair themselves. Cilia is responsible for pushing out mucus and other unwanted substances out of the lungs. As a result, the risk on infection goes down dramatically and your lungs start clearing up with much more ease. Symptoms such as shortness of breath and constant cough, which are common in smokers, begin to subside rapidly. You will feel that your withdrawal symptoms completely go away after this period.

1 year after you quit smoking

This marks a significant milestone as it gives you not only physical benefits, but also makes you feel great emotionally. At this milestone your risk of heart disease with reduce by 50%. This means that someone who smokes is twice as likely as your to develop some kind of heart disease.

5 year after you quit smoking

One of the major reasons to quit smoking is that it is the leading cause for a whole lot of diseases including but not limited to lung cancer, mouth cancer, esophagus cancer, bladder cancer, heart disease and  stroke. Five years after you quit, your risk of mouth cancer, esophagus cancer and bladder cancer decrease by 50%. Your risk of cervical cancer also reduces. Your risk of stroke is now the same as that of a non-smoker.

Related: Health Benefits of Drinking Water

10 year after you quit smoking

Smoking is one of the main causes of lung cancer. In fact, smoking accounts for more than 90% of lung cancer deaths each year. Ten years after you quit, your risk of developing lung cancer drops to half that of non-smokers. Risk of larynx and pancreatic cancer also reduces significantly.

15 year after you quit smoking

Your risk of heart disease will be the same as that of a non-smoker. At this point, your body pretty much returns back to normal and all your risks are the same as that of a non-smoker.


You can see that it takes 15 long years to get your body back to normal. Non-smokers have a higher life expectancy than smokers by as much as 10-15 years. Not only will you live longer, the quality of life you lead will be much better as you will have healthier heart and lungs that will allow you to be more active and feel great about yourself. Quit today and feel the difference!

Also Read: Best Things You Can do in Your 20’s to Avoid Health Complications Later

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The Fitness Cafe started out when a couple of guys set out on a fitness goal that many believed to be impossible. One of the founders lost 48lbs in one year and is on his way to completing his first half marathon!