What to Expect Once You Quit Smoking

If you, your partner or best friend has been struggling to quit smoking, maybe it’ll help to learn how your body can transform once you quit smoking. Quitting can be very difficult, especially if you have been a long-time smoker or if you smoke numerous cigarettes a day.

On the other hand, there are many who have quit in the blink of an eye or even after several failed attempts, but at least they quit. Let’s take a look at what to expect once you quit cigarettes and maybe you’ll be motivated enough to give up on them right away.

Health Benefits of Quitting Cigarettes

Before we explore the benefits of quitting cigarettes, let’s take a look at how smoking impacts health. Smoking can increase the risk of lung cancer and heart ailments, but did you know that it can also affect your hair and nails, increase the risk of other cancers like those of the mouth, larynx and pancreas, put you at risk for type 2 diabetes, decrease libido and cause possible infertility?

While smoking has so many negative influences on our health, quitting can help reverse many of the conditions and some of these changes might even become visible within 20 minutes of quitting.

Experts who have studied the benefits of quitting cigarettes have come up with a timeline that explains what you can expect when you quit smoking.

  • 20 minutes: Cigarette smoking can increase both your heart rate and blood pressure and it has been noticed that both these factors can reduce within 20 minutes of smoking a cigarette. So, imagine how good it would be for your body if you never went back to smoking at all.
  • 8–12 hours: Half a day is all it takes for the carbon monoxide levels to drop and oxygen to increase in the body.
  • 48 hours: Smoking can damage the nerves that help you taste and smell, but within a couple of days after quitting, you may start regaining this ability.
  • 2 weeks to 3 months: The enhanced oxygen levels and the lower heart rate and blood pressure can reduce your risk of a heart attack.
  • 1–9 months: During this period, you may feel less shortness of breath and more energy.
  • 1 year: Just one year of not smoking can help reduce the risk of heart ailments by half.
  • 5 years: Quitting cigarettes can reduce the risk of stroke within 5–15 years, depending on the duration and the number of cigarettes you smoked.
  • 10 years: A former smoker’s risk of lung cancer can drop to that of a non-smoker’s within 10 years of quitting. The risk of developing other types of cancer also reduces.
  • 15 years: The lowered blood pressure and cholesterol, along with the thinned blood, can reduce a smoker’s risk of heart disease to that of a non-smoker’s level.

Benefits of quitting cigarettes:

  • Though it is not an instantaneous change, quitting cigarettes can reduce the risk of certain cancers like lung, bladder, oral cavity and kidneys.
  • It can restore the lost libido and reduce the occurrence of conditions like erectile dysfunction.
  • Your immune system can get a boost from the improved breathing and enhanced circulation of oxygen.
  • Improved breathing can increase stamina and energy levels.
  • Within two days of quitting, you could start feeling smells and flavors that you had missed while you were a smoker.
  • You may notice an improvement in oral health.
  • A month into your journey you may notice that the brain has overcome the addiction and you no longer have cravings.

These benefits should be incentive enough for anyone to drop their smoking habit, so, what are you waiting for? Regardless of whether you quit today or use quit smoking aids and apps to quit over the next few days, be assured that better health awaits you on the other side.

The content of this Website is for informational purposes only, is general in nature and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, and does not constitute professional advice. The information on this Website should not be considered as complete and does not cover all diseases, ailments, physical conditions, or their treatment. You should consult with your physician before beginning any exercise, weight loss, or health care program and/or any of the beauty treatments. 


Santos-Longhurstm, A. (2018, May 22). Benefits of Quitting Smoking and a Quit Smoking Timeline. Retrieved October 8, 2018, from https://www.healthline.com/health/effects-of-quitting-smoking