Health benefits timeline
20 minutes after quitting
- Your heart rate slows and your blood pressure decreases.
Within a day
- Almost all of the nicotine is out of your bloodstream.
- The level of carbon monoxide in your blood drops to normal.
- Oxygen can more easily reach your heart and muscles.
Within a week
- Your sense of taste and smell may improve.
- Your lungs’ natural cleaning system is starting to recover and improve.
Within 2 months
- Your coughing and wheezing decrease.
- Your immune system is beginning its recovery so your body is better at fighting off infection.
- Your blood is less thick and sticky and blood flow to your hands and feet has improved.
Within 6 months
- Your lungs are working much better, producing less phlegm.
- You’re likely to feel less stressed than when you were smoking.
After 1 year
- Your lungs are now healthier and you’ll be breathing easier than if you’d kept smoking.
Within 2 to 5 years
- There is a large drop in your risk of heart attack and stroke and this risk will continue to gradually decrease over time.
- For women, within five years, the risk of cervical cancer is the same as someone who has never smoked.
After 10 years
- Your risk of lung cancer drops by half (provided the disease was not already present when you quit).
- Your risks of cancers of the mouth, throat, bladder, kidney, oesophagus, bladder, and pancreas decreases.
After 15 years
- Your risk of heart attack and stroke is close to that of a person who has never smoked.
Date last updated: