I understand that quitting smoking is a challenge for many people. However, the benefits of quitting smoking cannot be understated. In this article, I will tell you the various changes that happen in your body when you quit smoking. My aim is to provide you with the information you need to stay motivated to quit smoking and improve your overall health and well-being. Let’s dive in.
How Quitting Smoking Affects Your Body
Within 20 Minutes
Within 20 minutes of quitting smoking, your body experiences a significant improvement in blood pressure and heart rate. This is because smoking constricts your blood vessels, which can lead to high blood pressure and heart disease. When you stop smoking, your blood vessels begin to relax, allowing for improved blood flow and lower blood pressure. Plus, your hands and feet temperature begins to normalize.
Within 8 Hours
Within 8 hours of quitting smoking, the level of carbon monoxide in your blood decreases significantly. Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas that is found in cigarette smoke. It reduces the amount of oxygen that your body can absorb, which can lead to fatigue and shortness of breath. When you quit smoking, the level of carbon monoxide in your blood decreases, allowing your body to absorb more oxygen and improve your overall energy levels.
Within 48 Hours
Within 48 hours of quitting smoking, your sense of taste and smell begin to improve. Smoking can dull your taste buds and sense of smell, making it difficult to enjoy food and beverages. When you stop smoking, your sense of taste and smell starts to return to normal, allowing you to enjoy the flavors of food and drinks.
Within 72 Hours
Within 72 hours of quitting smoking, your body begins to flush out the nicotine and other harmful chemicals from your system. Nicotine is an addictive substance found in cigarettes that can have a range of negative effects on your body, including increasing your heart rate and constricting your blood vessels. When you quit smoking, your body begins to eliminate nicotine and other harmful chemicals, allowing your body to start healing and improving.
In addition, most people experience nicotine withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, cravings, irritability, difficulty sleeping, and more. However, these symptoms usually pass within a few days or weeks.
Within 2 Weeks to 3 Months
Your lung function starts to improve within 2 weeks to 3 months of quitting smoking. Smoking damages your lungs over time, reducing their ability to function properly. But after quitting smoking, your lungs start to heal and improve, allowing you to breathe easier and reducing your risk of lung-related diseases. Also, you will notice less coughing, wheezing, and chest tightness.
Within 1 to 9 Months
Within 1 to 9 months of quitting smoking, your circulation improves significantly. As explained earlier, smoking constricts your blood vessels, reducing blood flow to your extremities. When you quit smoking, the effects of this damage begin to reverse, allowing for improved circulation throughout your body. Besides that, your energy levels also start to increase, making it easier for you to stay active and engaged in activities.
Within 1 Year
Within a year of quitting smoking, your risk of heart disease is cut in half. Smoking is a major risk factor for heart disease, which is a leading cause of death worldwide. After one year without a cigarette, your risk of heart disease decreases significantly. You will also notice a decrease in your blood pressure.
After 5 years
After 5 years of quitting smoking, your risk of stroke is reduced to that of a non-smoker. Scientists believe smoking increases your risk of stroke by two or three times. When you quit, the effects of this damage start to reverse, and your risk decreases significantly.
After 10 years
After 10 years of quitting smoking, your risk of dying from lung cancer is almost the same as a non-smoker. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, lung cancer is one of the leading causes of death in smokers, and quitting smoking significantly lowers your risk. The longer you stay smoke-free, the more your risk of cancer decreases.
Save you a lot of money
Lastly, quitting smoking can help you save a lot of money. As per research, the average smoker spends around $1,926 a year on cigarettes. Quitting smoking will save you a significant amount of money each year. You can use that money for other important things like saving for retirement or taking a vacation.
The Bottom Line
Quitting smoking has many positive effects on your body. The benefits of quitting smoking include an improved sense of taste and smell, improved lung function and circulation, reduced risk of diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and cancer, and lower risk of premature death. In addition, it can also help you save a lot of money. If you are thinking of quitting smoking, consult your doctor for advice and support. You can also use nicotine replacement therapy or other medications to help you quit smoking. There is no better time to quit smoking than now. Start your journey towards better health today! Good luck!
- Health Benefits of Quitting Smoking Over Time. American Cancer Society. https://www.cancer.org/healthy/stay-away-from-tobacco/benefits-of-quitting-smoking-over-time.html
- Smoking and Your Heart – Smoking Risks. National, Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/heart/smoking/risks
- Smoking: Effects, Risks, Addiction, Quitting, Treatment – Cleveland Clinic. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/17488-smoking