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What Happens When You Stop Smoking - Timeline

When you quit smoking your body goes through a few changes, some in a short space of time and some throughout a long period of time. Here is the time line of what will happen after you smoke that last and final cigarette.

After 20 minutes, you have smoked your last cigarette, both your blood pressure and your pulse decrease significantly. You may also notice that your hands and your feet start to sweat more than normal.

After 8 hours of being a non smoker, the carbon monoxide in your blood stream goes down and is almost at a normal level once again. Your particular blood oxygen level in your blood stream will also go back to normal after 8 hours or so.

After 24 hours of being a non smoker it is thought that your chance of having a heart attack goes down significantly.

After 48 hours of being a non smoker, your taste buds start to be able to taste food once again and your ability to smell properly returns as well.

You will notice that after 2 weeks of stopping smoking, breathing becomes easier so you can walk, run or jog without becoming as breathless as you used to do. The production of phlegm will go down a lot as well, so you will be coughing less, wheezing less and after a few months you lungs are starting to recover.

After a whole year of being a non smoker, your chance of having a heart attack or other heart problems goes down to half of that of someone who does smoke.

Your risk of being a victim of a stroke goes to that of a person who has never smoked after at least 5 to 15 years after stopping smoking altogether.

After around ten years or so of not smoking, your chance of getting lung cancer decreases significantly. You are still more likely to get lung cancer that someone who has never smoked in their life, but the chances are greatly reduced.


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