How Much Damage Can Be Reversed When I Quit Smoking?
Much of the damage you’ve already done to your body can be reversed if you stop smoking, and what can’t be reversed won’t get any worse. Literally from the first day you stop smoking you will begin to feel better and have a greater quality of life that will continue for the rest of your life.
According to the U.S. Surgeon General . . .
- 12 hours after quitting: The carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.
- 2 weeks to 3 months after quitting: Your circulation improves and your lung function increases.
- 1 to 9 months after quitting: Coughing and shortness of breath decrease; cilia (tiny hair-like structures that move mucus out of the lungs) regain normal function in the lungs, increasing the ability to handle mucus, clean the lungs, and reduce the risk of infection.
- 1 year after quitting: The excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker’s.
- 5 years after quitting: Your stroke risk is reduced to that of a non-smoker 5 to 15 years after quitting.
- 10 years after quitting: The lung cancer death rate is about half that of a person who continues smoking. The risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, cervix, and pancreas decrease too.
- 15 years after quitting: The risk of coronary heart disease is the same as a non-smoker’s.
Plus, your sense of smell returns to normal and your breath, clothes, and hair begin to smell better. Your fingernails and fingers lose their yellow tinge. You have more energy.
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