Whether you do it for your health, your family, or partner, or your pocket, your body will be the first to notice that you’ve given up smoking. The effects are practically immediate, which is why it’s so hard to quit.
Smokers will often suffer from poor circulation, which leaves them with cold hands and feet. Within just 30 minutes of your last cigarette, your blood pressure will begin to drop and your circulation will improve enough to feel warmth in your extremities.
Later that day (approximately 8 hours after your last cigarette), the toxic carbon monoxide chemical that circulates in your blood will start to disappear, which also means the healthy oxygen levels will begin to increase.
Make it two days without a cigarette and you should start to notice a difference in how things taste and smell. Cigarettes impair these senses, so quitting will help them come back to how they were before you picked up the habit. Make it three days, and you’ll even start breathing more easily as your bronchial tubes begin to relax.
It differs for everyone, but some will experience improved lung function, stamina and circulation after just two weeks. For others, this may take up to three months – but it’s definitely worth the wait.
At some point during this first year after quitting (between one and nine months), your body will be better able to clear mucus from your lungs, which decreases your risk of infection, and reduces congestion and coughing. After a year, your chance of heart disease is approximately half that of a non-smoker.
After five years, your chance of getting multiple types of cancer drops significantly, and the chance of having a stroke is as low as that of a non-smoker. Within 10 years, even the chance of getting lung cancer will have dropped to half that of a non-smoker.
Finally, 15 years of being smoke-free means your risk of heart disease is the same as someone who doesn’t smoke.
Think of it this way – it might take 15 years for your body to recover from the damaging effects of combustible cigarettes, but that could be 15 more years you add to your life.