If you’re smoking a cigarette right now, here’s the good news for you: if you don’t ever pick one up again, your body will go through amazing transformations within minutes of finishing your last one. Right now, more than 16 million people suffer from a disease caused by smoking. This is a very real horror in and of itself.
It’s a good idea to quit. Here’s what happens when you finally put out your last smoke:
QUIT SMOKING TIMELINE
20 TO 30 MINUTES
Twenty minutes to half an hour after you give up smoking for good, your blood pressure will fall and your pulse will drop.And your hands and feet will start to warm up as circulation improves.
Eight hours into quitting, carbon monoxide is eliminated from the body, therefore allowing the lungs to clear of mucus as oxygen levels increase.
Two days in and an ex-smoker’s sense of taste and smell will improve. Your sperm count and motility should return to normal reasonably quickly. Chance of heart attack also decreases.
Three days down and it benefits should become more obvious. The bronchial tubes in the lungs begin to relax, making breathing easier. Your circulation improves. Walking becomes easier.
2 TO 3 MONTHS
If you have managed to last two months, the good news is that circulation and lung function will improve, as well as your stamina. Coughing, sinus congestion, fatigue and shortness of breath decrease. Lungs are clearer and more resistant to infection. The risk of coronary heart disease is reduced to half that of a person still smoking.
The lungs will continue to improve their function, clearing mucus more effectively, and keeping clean therefore reducing the risk of infection. Overall, an ex-smoker will notice their energy levels improve.
A year after a smoker quits and the serious benefits begin to kick in. Twelve months after resigning yourself to a life without nicotine, and the risk of heart disease reduces to half that of a smoker.
Five years post cigarette and the risk of suffering a stroke is the same as that of a non-smoker. The risk of cancer of the mouth, throat and oesophagus are cut in half and the risk of cervical cancer falls to that of a non-smoker.
A decade later and the risk of lung cancer falls to half that of a smoker. And the risk of pancreatic cancer is roughly the same as that of a non-smoker.
Fifteen years after ditching the habit, and the risk of heart disease is similar to that of a non-smoker. And notably the risk of dying prematurely is nearly the same as that of a non-smoker.