The ability of the body to repair itself after you quit smoking is quite phenomenal. Smoking has detrimental side effects on the brain and body ranging from increased risk of emphysema to cancer. How quickly the body recovers after a person quits smoking depends on many factors. Learn about how the body bounces back and why it happens with this timeline.


20 Minutes After You Quit Smoking

As a person inhales the smoke, nicotine enters the bloodstream which boosts blood pressure and heart rate. Once the cigarette is finished, the heart rate and blood pressure return to normal range within minutes.


8 Hours After You Quit Smoking

Carbon monoxide is one of 4,000 chemicals inhaled through a burning cigarette. Eight hours after a cigarette is last smoked, carbon monoxide begins to leave the body allowing oxygen levels to return to normal.


24 Hours After You Quit Smoking

Mucus and other debris build up in the lungs from smoking. Approximately a day after the last cigarette, the lungs begin to clear out.


48 Hours After You Quit Smoking

Nicotine is one of the more highly addictive substances in cigarettes. Combined with tobacco, the senses may become dull which affects the senses of smell and taste. Within two days of cessation, nicotine is eliminated from the body and senses begin to heighten.


2 to 12 Weeks After You Quit Smoking

Physical activity is much harder for a smoker due to how it affects the lungs and the oxygenation of the blood. Smoking impacts blood circulation which can cause permanent damage to overall health. Within a few weeks of quitting, a person may do a few miles on the treadmill or go up a flight of stairs with more ease than before. It will take some time before more optimal functioning takes place.


3 to 9 Months After You Quit Smoking

The body is wonderful at repairing itself when given the opportunity. Damage to organs, including the lungs, occurs with smoking. Approximately three to nine months after the last cigarette, the smoker’s cough may be gone and breathing will become much easier. The damage, however, may be more or less permanent depending on the length of time a person smoked and with what frequency.


1 Year After You Quit Smoking

The lining of the arteries are damaged from smoking which causes a buildup of a fatty substance known as atheroma (narrowing of the arteries). Heart attacks, strokes and angina can result from atheroma which is why cessation of smoking after a year is highly beneficial. The risk of heart disease decreases by half a year after a person kicks the habit.


Be Informed About Smoking

Currently, 14 different types of cancers have been identified and linked to smoking including mouth, bowel and bladder cancer. Nearly 5,000 different chemicals are released when a cigarette burns with many poisonous chemicals present which may cause cancer. Quitting smoking is the best thing for a person’s health. The sooner the better, but there is no better time than today to decide to quit smoking.


Nicotine addiction can be challenging but not impossible to overcome with the right support. We are here to help you on the journey to recovery. Let us help you kick the habit for good. 800.585.5816