You will feel the benefits of quitting straight away as your body repairs itself. Depending on the number of cigarettes you smoke, typical benefits of stopping are:
- After twelve hours almost all of the nicotine is out of your system.
- After twenty-four hours the level of carbon monoxide in your blood has dropped dramatically. You now have more oxygen in your bloodstream.
- After five days most nicotine by-products have gone.
- Within days your sense of taste and smell improves.
- Within a month your blood pressure returns to its normal level and your immune system begins to show signs of recovery.
- Within two months your lungs will no longer be producing extra phlegm caused by smoking.
- After twelve months your increased risk of dying from heart disease is half that of a continuing smoker.
- Stopping smoking reduces the incidence and progression of lung disease including chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
- After ten years of stopping your risk of lung cancer is less than half that of a continuing smoker and continues to decline (provided the disease is not already present).
- After fifteen years your risk of heart attack and stroke is almost the same as that of a person who has never smoked.
Quitting smoking can be one of the most difficult, yet rewarding things a person can do. Most smokers say they would like to quit, and may have tried at least once. Some are successful the first time, but many other people try a number of times before they finally give up for good.
Further information about the National Tobacco Campaign and the health benefits of quitting smoking can be found here.
You can also find copies of the campaigns health benefit posters here: