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What Happens After You Quit Smoking?

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Some people who smoke cigarettes wish deep inside their hearts to quit cigarettes, but are they confident about it? Perhaps not! They have doubts on themselves about how long they can live without smoking. 

Well, this behaviour is typical. So instead, people should focus on getting permanent freedom from nicotine addiction once and for all. 

While smoking, thousands of chemicals damage your lungs and can harm the heart and many other body organs.

But, the good thing is -You can decide to stop smoking the menace today! Reverse the damage the addiction has inflicted on your body and join freedom from smoking today.

Cigarette smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable deaths in the United States of America. The major factor stated for the practice is to deal with stress.

Unfortunately, many people believe that the reversal effects of quitting are prolonged. Read the blog further and know the benefits you’ll experience in a specified time after you’ve smoked your last cigarette. 

Quit Smoking Timeline

The benefits of quitting are instant. As soon as you give up cigarettes, your body starts to recover. Consider the following sequence for the quit smoking timeline:

1 Hour After Your Last Cigarette

Your pulse and blood pressure rate will become normal within 20 minutes to 1 hour after your last cigarette. Quitting improves the blood circulation in your body. 

Additionally, the once stuck fibres in your bronchial tubes due to frequent exposure to smoke will start moving again. It is beneficial for your lungs. These fibres flush out harmful bacteria and irritants from the lungs, which help lower the risk of infection. 

12 Hours After Your Last Cigarette

Cigarettes contain many harmful chemicals, including carbon monoxide, a gas that’s present in cigarette smoke. 

High doses of the chemical can be harmful and deadly as it prevents the entry of oxygen into the lungs and blood. When you inhale the smoke containing carbon monoxide for a long, you may feel suffocated due to the lack of oxygen. 

Just 12 hours without cigarettes can help reduce the carbon monoxide levels in the body. The decrease in its levels increases the body’s oxygen levels. 

One day After Your Last Cigarette

Within just one day after quitting, the risk of heart disease starts decreasing. 

Smoking increases the risk of developing coronary artery disease (CAD) by reducing good cholesterol levels, which can make you incapable of doing healthy exercises properly. It can make you devoid of health benefits. Smoking also elevates the risk of blood clots and high blood pressure, raising the risk of stroke. 

You’ll experience a substantial drop in your blood pressure within just a day after your last cigarette. It will reduce the risk of heart disorders from smoking-induced high blood pressure. 

In this brief time, the person’s oxygen level will boost up, making physical activities and exercises simpler. 

2 Days After Your Last Cigarette

Smoking can adversely affect the nerves responsible for smell and taste. However, within two days of quitting, your nerves can begin to heal. As a result, you will notice an elevated sense of different flavors and aromas. 

3 Days After Your Last Cigarette

The nicotine levels in a person’s body get exhausted within three days after quitting. Although it’s good to have no nicotine in the body, this initial exhaustion can cause nicotine withdrawal. As a result, most people experience irritability and moodiness. You can also have sudden cravings and headaches as the body readjusts.

1 Month After Your Last Cigarette

After one month, the person’s lungs start functioning well. As the lungs heal and their capacity enhances, the former smokers will have less breathing difficulty and coughing. 

1-8 Months After Your Last Cigarette

For up to nine months after cigarette smoking, your blood circulation will continue to improve. 

9 Months After Your Last Cigarette

After nine months of quitting, the lungs have substantially healed themselves. The tiny hair-like projections in your lungs, known as cilia, recover from the toll the cigarette smoking has taken on them. In addition, it helps eradicate mucus from the lungs and combat several infections. 

Cilia are now performing their functions well. As a result, former smokers may experience a drop in lung infections. 

1 Year After Your Last Cigarette

After one year of smoking cessation, a person’s chances of developing CAD reduce by half. The risk will then continue to drop at a gradual pace. 

5 Years After Your Last Cigarette

Cigarettes have many toxic chemicals which can narrow down your blood vessels and arteries. Unfortunately, these chemicals can also increase the chances of blood clotting. 

Five years without cigarettes is a great time when the arteries and blood vessels can start widening again. It ensures that you are less likely to develop blood clots, thereby reducing your risk of stroke. 

10 Years After Your Last Cigarette

After ten years, there’s a reduced risk of developing and dying from lung cancer compared to someone who still smokes. In addition, you are now at a lower risk of throat, mouth, and pancreatic cancer.

15 Years After Your Last Cigarette

After 15 years of quitting, your risk of developing coronary artery diseases becomes comparable to that of a non-smoker. In the same way, the risk of developing pancreatic cancer also reduces to the same level. 

20 Years After Your Last Cigarette

After twenty years of quitting, the risk of death from smoking-associated causes, including cancer and other lung-related diseases, reduces to the level of a person who has never smoked.

The Best & Easy Way to Quit Smoking

A woman breaking a cigarette
By-Sezeryadigar/ Getty Images

Find Your Reason

To get motivated, you need a strong reason for quitting. As for yourself, why have you decided to quit smoking? It may reduce the risk of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, etc. Or to protect your beloved family from secondhand smoke. Or to look or feel younger. Choose a strong enough reason to overcome your urge to light up the fire again. 

Be Prepared

Quitting cigarettes is not easy. It is an addiction that can leave you irritated in the initial phases of quitting. You can ask your doctor some of the best ways to help, including medication, counselling, hypnosis, and therapies like nicotine replacement therapy. Of course, it would help if you were to set a quit date. Nicotine replacement therapy includes Nicotinell 17 Mg, Nicotinell 35 Mg, Nicotinell 52 Mg, etc.

Consider Nicotine Replacement Therapy

When you quit smoking, nicotine withdrawal can cause severe headaches, sap your energy or change your mood. However, nicotine replacement can control your urges to smoke a cigarette. In addition, studies suggest that nicotine gum, patches, and lozenges can increase your chances of success while you’re on a quit smoking program. 

Know About Prescription Pills

Several medications can curb your cravings and make you feel less satisfied even when you pick up a cigarette. Other drugs can relieve withdrawal symptoms such as depression or sleeping difficulties. 

Lean On Your Loved Ones

Tell your family and close friends that you’re trying hard to quit. They can motivate you to keep going. You can also enrol in behavioral therapy to help spot and adhere to quitting smoking. 

Take A Break

Some people quit smoking as the nicotine present in it helps them relax. However, many alternatives include:

  • Listening to music.
  • Treating yourself to a massage.
  • Connecting with friends.
  • Developing a new hobby. 

Avoid Alcohol And Other Substance Use

Alcohol and drugs can make it very difficult for you to stick to a no-smoking goal. However, some people have a habit of drinking coffee while smoking. For those people switching to tea for a couple of days can make the difference. 

If you have a habit of smoking after you make dinner, try engaging yourself in some other activities like taking a walk, chewing gum, texting a friend, or brushing your teeth. 

Clean Your House

Toss all your lighters and ashtrays out of home once you’ve smoked your last cigarette or decided to quit. Some of your clothes may smell of smoke. Just wash them off. Clean your carpets, upholstery, and draperies. Use an air freshener to ward off that smell. If you’ve recently smoked in your car, wipe it out too. You should keep yourself away from anything that reminds you of smoking. 

Try, Try And Try!

Some people have already tried and failed many times to quit smoking. Don’t get discouraged if you light up sometimes for the urge to smoke. Instead, it would help if you thought about what made you smoke again – is it your emotions or the surroundings. Then, use it as an opportunity to expedite your commitment to quitting. 

Eat Fruits And Vegetables

Don’t diet while you give up smoking, don’t diet as it can easily backfire. Instead, eat more fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains. 

Choose Your Reward

As we have discussed in the previous section of the article, quitting smoking offers several benefits. Moreover, you can also save a lot of money. Calculate the sum of money you have saved from not smoking, and you can use a portion of that on something fun. 


What will happen if you suddenly stop smoking?

The benefits of quitting smoking can start right away, and after a few years, a person may feel completely normal. The heart rate and blood pressure return to normal. It’s possible that blood circulation will improve. 

Carbon monoxide levels in the blood may fall and be removed over time. The oxygen level might recover to normal, lowering the risk of a heart attack. It’s possible that breathing will become easier.

Why do I feel worse after I quit smoking?

When you quit smoking, it’s fairly usual to feel agitated or grumpy. Many people who have never smoked are aware that this is a necessary element of stopping. It might be comforting to know that this is usual. Methods of management include: Remind yourself that you’re probably feeling this way because your body is adjusting to being nicotine-free.

Is quitting smoking worth it?

It makes no difference how old you are or how long you’ve been a smoker; stopping at any age improves your health. When you quit smoking, you will likely live longer, breathe easier, have more energy, and save money. You’ll also reduce your chances of developing cancer, heart disease, stroke, and lung illness.

Many people require several attempts before successfully quitting smoking. You are not a failure if you slip up and smoke a cigarette. You can try again and succeed this time.

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Photo of author Janet Fudge
Janet Fudge is a highly skilled and experienced pharmacologist who serves as a contributing writer for With a strong academic background from a premier US University and a passion for helping others, Janet has become a trusted voice in the pharmaceutical world. After completing her Doctor of Pharmacy degree, Janet embarked on a successful career in the pharmaceutical industry, working with various clients, including hospitals, retail pharmacies, and drug manufacturers. Her in-depth knowledge of pharmacology and dedication to patient-centered care has led her to excel in her field. As a writer for, Janet uses her wealth of expertise to provide readers with accurate, reliable, and up-to-date information on various topics related to medicine and healthcare. Her engaging writing style and ability to break down complex topics into easily digestible content make her a valuable resource for healthcare professionals and the general public.
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