Timeline: What Happens When You Quit Smoking

Making the commitment to quit smoking is hard but once the cigarettes are gone, your body starts to heal itself immediately. In this video, Dr. Paul Knoepflmacher provides a timeline of what happens when you quit smoking.

Only twenty minutes after quitting, your heart rate and blood pressure go down. Twelve hours later, the carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal. After just one day, your risk of having a heart attack goes down. Two days after you quit smoking, your sense of smell and taste improve.

After two to three weeks, your lungs will really start to feel the benefits of quitting smoking. Exercise and walking become easier and your lung function and circulation will continue to get better every day. Between one and nine months after quitting, you will see that the smoker's cough and shortness of breath will decrease.   

After five years, your risk of developing cancer of the mouth, throat and esophagus is cut in half. Your risk of stroke and heart disease will be the same as that of a non-smoker. And after ten years, your risk of dying from lung cancer is the same as that of someone who never smoked.

Smoking cigarettes can take a very serious toll on your body. Now that you've learned what happens when you quit smoking, you can see that the significant health benefits are worth it. The sooner you can quit smoking cigarettes, the sooner you’ll feel like a brand new person.

Dr. Paul Knoepflmacher

This video features Dr. Paul Knoepflmacher. Dr. Paul Knoepflmacher is a Diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine

Duration: 01:25. Last Updated On: 2015-11-09
Reviewed by: Dr. Preeti Parikh, Dr. Suzanne Friedman . Review date: January 01, 2017
Sign up for our daily newsletter!