It can be difficult to kick the habit, but knowing what to expect when you stop smoking may ease the withdrawal challenges and transitions.
Maybe you’ve decided to stop smoking as an example of better health for your kids. Maybe you’re encouraging a loved one to put down cigarettes. Perhaps you have a child who has taken up smoking, and you’re now working together to kick the habit. Whatever the case may be, knowing what to expect after quitting will only increase the likelihood of success.
After quitting, here’s what to expect:
- In the first 20 minutes, your blood pressure and heart rate recover from the cigarette-induced spike
- After 12 hours, carbon monoxide levels in your blood return to normal
- Two weeks to three months after quitting, your circulation and lung function begin to improve
- After one to nine months, coughing and shortness of breath diminish and clearer, deeper breathing returns
You will retain the ability to cough productively instead of hacking, which cleans your lungs and reduce your risk of infection.
- After one year, your risk of coronary heart disease is reduced by 50%
- In 5 years, the risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder are cut in half, and your risk of cervical cancer and stroke return to normal
- After 10 years, you’re half as likely to die from lung cancer and your risk of larynx or pancreatic cancer decreases
- In 15 years, your risk of coronary heart disease is the same as a non-smoker’s
This information and other statistics sources from American Heart Association, Your Non-Smoking Life, Updated on April 20, 2017.
Audrey Mattevi, Reporting