Quit smoking timeline: what happens after you stop smoking

by Aug 26, 2022Stop smoking0 comments

Did you know it’s possible to draw a quit smoking timeline with the effects you face after stopping?

When talking about the consequences of quitting smoking, there is a lot of focus on abstinence and long-term results. For example, you probably expect the risks of developing diseases like lung cancer to decrease. 

However, the effects of quitting smoking are almost instant. So we’ve gathered here what you can expect from each step of this journey. Keep following!

Quit smoking timeline: what happens after you stop smoking
Quit smoking timeline: what happens after you stop smoking

Quit smoking timeline

When you quit smoking, your body starts to recover instantly. Check the timeline of the recovery journey. 

20 minutes

In the first 20 minutes after quitting smoking, your body starts to recover. Your heart rate drops and then returns to normal. Blood pressure also starts to drop, and your circulation improves.

12 hours

After 12 hours, the body’s oxygen levels increase due to the normalization of the presence of carbon monoxide. 

The substance is one of many presents in cigarettes. However, in high doses, the gas can prevent oxygen from entering your aphid and blood. The result can be suffocation from lack of oxygen.

One day

It only takes one day without smoking, and the risk of heart attack starts to decrease. This is because smoking lowers good cholesterol, which results in a higher risk of developing heart disease. 

Smokers also face a significant risk of stroke due to increased blood pressure and blood clots. 

During this period, you can experience greater ease when doing physical exercises, which contribute to the health of your heart.

Two days

The tastes may seem more vivid, and the food is more tasteful. Just like it, your sense of smell should also improve. This is because smoking damages the nerve endings responsible for the senses of taste and smell.

Three days

By the third day, your body must begin to adjust to the new reality. Withdrawal symptoms can start to appear as the nicotine leaves your body. 

Most people can start to feel moody and irritable. Headaches can also arise as your body adjusts.

One to three months

Circulation and lung function start to improve shortly after the first month and should continue at a steady pace. Over time, you should notice less coughing and shortness of breath.

Nine to twelve months

During this period, coughing and shortness of breath decreased. This is due to the recovery of cilia, tiny hair-like structures that move mucus out of the lungs. 

As they regain normal function, they increase their ability to handle mucus, clear the lungs and reduce the risk of infection.

One to two years

Heart attack risk decreases dramatically.

Five years

The risk of stroke decreases even more, and your blood vessels begin to widen again. 

This happens because your body healed after years of arteries and blood vessels narrowing as a consequence of toxins present in cigarettes. 

Ten years

The likelihood of you developing lung, mouth, throat, or pancreatic cancer has been significantly reduced.

Fifteen years

In this stage of your recovery, the likelihood of developing coronary heart disease is equivalent to a non-smoker — the same as the risk of developing pancreatic cancer.

Why should you quit smoking?

Quitting smoking can be quite a challenge. However, there are several health benefits. First, as the timeline shows, the results should only improve over the years. 

Plus, you can seize everyday pleasures like enjoying food and exercise again. Another positive point is the difference you will make to those around you, reducing the consequences of secondhand smoke.

Now that you know more about the journey to stop smoking, you can have a clearer picture of what lies ahead. 

What did you think about the quit smoking timeline? Don’t forget to check out our content to learn more about various tools to help you to quit smoking!