What Happens When You
Stop Smoking?

20 minutes after giving up
Your blood pressure and your pulse rate return to

What this means
Raised blood pressure and high pulse rate both put
strain on your heart, increasing your risk of a heart
attack. The minute you stop your risk is reduced.

8 hours after giving up
The carbon monoxide levels in your blood are halved.

What this means
Carbon monoxide from smoking can also produce
distortions of time perception, psychomotor and visual
impairment and negative effects on cognitive skill.
Reducing the level of carbon monoxide in your blood will
reduce these problems. Carbon monoxide reduces the
uptake of oxygen from the lungs - the higher the levels
of carbon monoxide, the lower the levels of oxygen.
Oxygen is vital for the functioning of all energy systems
in the body; so as soon as you cut carbon monoxide
levels, you will experience enhanced energy levels.

24 hours after giving up
Carbon monoxide is eliminated from the body.

What this means
Look forward to better sports performance, with
stronger endurance, lower levels of fatigue, improved
recovery after exercise and a lower heart rate for each
level of exercise.

48 hours after giving up
Nicotine is eliminated from the body.

What this means
As well as being highly addictive, nicotine has a number
of unpleasant side-effects on the body. It can act as an
emetic (cause vomiting) and it can produce stomach
upsets. It raises blood pressure, and increases the
likelihood of hypothermia and seizures. Get rid of the
nicotine and you will get rid of these symptoms.

2-21 weeks after giving up
Circulation improves.

What does this mean
Bad circulation causes numerous problems, ranging from
persistently cold feet, slow skin healing, Raynaud's
disease and peripheral vascular disease (PVT) which can
even lead to limb amputation. Giving up smoking will
reduce your risk of most circulation problems.

After 1 year
Your risk of a heart attack falls to about half that of a

What this means
About half of all Americans who continue to smoke will
die because of the habit. Each year about 440,000
people die in the United States from illnesses related to
cigarette smoking. Cigarettes kill more Americans than
alcohol, car accidents, suicide, AIDS, homicide, and illegal
drugs combined. Luckily, giving up will quickly start to
reduce your risk.

After 10 years
Your risk of lung cancer falls to about half that of a

What this means
Cigarette smoking accounts for at least 30% of all
cancer deaths. It is a major cause of cancers of the
lung, larynx (voice box), oral cavity, pharynx (throat),
esophagus, and bladder, and is a contributing cause in
the development of cancers of the pancreas, cervix,
kidney, stomach, and also some leukemias.

About 87% of lung cancer deaths are caused by
smoking. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer
death among both men and women, and is one of the
most difficult cancers to treat. Fortunately, lung cancer
is largely a preventable disease. Giving up is the most
important thing you can do to reduce your risk.

After 15 years
Your risk of a heart attack is the same as someone who
has never smoked.

What this means
A better chance of a long, healthy life!