What happens when you stop smoking? Find out the facts.
Discover how your body repairs itself and the other positives of quitting.
Long gone are the adverts from the 1950s and 1960s with images of carefree doctors in white coats happily puffing away on a cigarette. Nowadays, it’s no secret how harmful smoking is to your health. What causes the damage are the by-products of tobacco combustion, with the two most harmful toxins produced by cigarette smoke being tar and carbon monoxide.
The sooner you quit, the faster you will reduce the risk of cancer, heart and lung disease, and other smoking-related conditions. In this article, we look at the timeline for how your body repairs, as well as the many other benefits of quitting.
Here’s what happens to your body after you stop smoking.
Your body will begin to naturally heal fairly quickly, and the longer the period without a cigarette, the healthier it gets.
- 24 hours – the carbon monoxide levels in your blood reduce by more than half and your oxygen levels return to normal.
- One week – your ability to taste and smell improves.
- One month – your circulation improves. Six months – as your lung function increases by up to 10%, coughs, wheezing and breathing problems improve.
- One year – your risk of getting heart disease is about half that compared to somebody who still smokes.
- Ten years – your risk of getting lung cancer falls to half that of a smoker.
More benefits of stopping smoking.
- You’ll save money. For example, if you smoke 20 cigarettes a day, you could save £70.50 a week, which equates to £3,666.00 a year or £36,660.00 over 10 years. Just imagine what you could do with all that money. Buy a huge TV, go on holiday, buy a new car – even put a deposit down on a house.
- Your general fitness and breathing will improve.
- You’ll enjoy food more as your sense of taste returns.
- Teeth and skin appearance will improve.
- Clothes and home won’t smell of stale smoke.
- Your fertility levels improve.
Getting help to quit smoking.
There are a number of ways you can get support to kick your smoking habit, including from the NHS. If you’re considering trying vaping, get in touch with our friendly advisers who will happily tell you all you need to know to get you started.