How we can help you › Smoking cessation › The health benefits of stopping smoking
As soon as you stop smokingyour health starts improving
It’s not just your lungs that recover when you quit…
- your sense of smell and taste improve
- your blood pressure drops and your arteries widen (reducing your chance of suffering a stroke)
- your risk of heart disease drops
- you’re less likely to get cancer of various types
Here’s what happens after you stub out your last cigarette:
AFTER 20 MINUTES
Your pulse and heart rate drop. Your blood pressure starts to return to normal.
AFTER 12 HOURS
Your body’s carbon monoxide levels return to normal and your oxygen levels increase.
The first week
AFTER 1 DAY
Your circulation improves and your risk of heart disease from high blood pressure drops.
AFTER 2 DAYS
Receptors in your nerves begin to heal and your sense of taste and smell will be back to normal.
AFTER 3 DAYS
Your body is already free of nicotine, and you might notice your energy levels have increased.
“Taste has come back – food tastes better. I’m surprised how quickly it all reverted.“
The first month
AFTER 2 WEEKS
Your lung function starts to improve, making physical activity easier. Your immune system also starts to improve, so you can fight off colds and flu. You might feel less tired, and get fewer headaches.
FROM 1 MONTH
You’ll start to cough less and not find yourself as short of breath as when you smoked.
Lung capacity improves by up to 10% within 9 months.
“I don’t think I realised just how much I was missing out on… particularly the exercise, walking, going up steps… I can now walk up without gasping at the top”
Your future as a non-smoker
AFTER 1 YEAR
Coronary heart disease risk is halved. People who quit smoking after having a heart attack, halve the chance of having another.
AFTER 5 YEARS
As far as risk of stroke is concerned, you’re approaching the same level as a nonsmoker.
AFTER 10 YEARS
Your risk of lung cancer is halved. You’ve also reduced the risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder and cervix, and of pancreas diseases.
AFTER 15 YEARS
Your risk of coronary heart disease is the same as a nonsmoker’s.
Studies show people’s stress levels are lower after they stop smoking. If you find that you’re prone to stress, replacing smoking with a healthier, better way of dealing with stress can give you some real benefits.
THINKING OF STARTING A FAMILY?
Smoking is associated with lots of complications around sex and fertility. When you stop smoking, as a man you’re less likely to suffer impotence; as a woman, you reduce the chance of having difficulty getting pregnant, and you reduce the risk of miscarriage. You also reduce the chance of your baby being born prematurely or with a low birth weight.
YOUR LIFE AND YOUR LOVED ONES
Stopping smoking increases your life expectancy. 30-year-olds gain almost 10 years of life. If you’re 40, you’ll get 9 extra years; stop at 50 and you get 6 extra years. Stopping at 60 gains you 3 years. If you stop smoking, you’ll also reduce your loved ones’ risk of suffering diseases related to second-hand smoke, including pneumonia and asthma.