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The benefits of quitting

The benefits of quitting

When you give up smoking, your body starts going through good changes right away!

  • Within 20 minutes of your last cigarette1
    Your blood pressure and heart rate drops to a normal rate for you.

  • 12 hours
    The carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.

  • 2 weeks to 3 months
    Your circulation improves. Lung function increases.

  • 1 to 9 months
    There's less coughing, sinus congestion, tiredness, and shortness of breath. Cilia (tiny hairs) re-grow in your lungs to better handle mucous, clean your lungs, and reduce infection.

  • 1 year after quitting
    Your extra risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker's.

  • 5 to 15 years
    Your stroke risk goes down to that of a nonsmoker.

  • 10 years after quitting
    The lung cancer death rate is about half that of a person who still smokes. Your risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, cervix, and pancreas goes down.

  • 15 years after quitting
    Your risk of coronary heart disease is that of a nonsmoker's.


1 American Cancer Society. When Smokers Quit – What are the Benefits Over Time? Retrieved November 2, 2010.

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