It’s never too late to stop smoking! Your health risks start decreasing quickly after you stop smoking, and they continue dropping over time. You’ll see big benefits after you quit, no matter how long you’ve been smoking – even if you’ve already developed some smoking-related problems.
Look at the health improvements you can expect within the first year:
• 20 minutes after quitting: Your blood pressure and heart rate will drop.
• 12 hours after quitting: The carbon monoxide level in your blood will return to normal.
• 2 weeks to 3 months after quitting: Your circulation and lung function will improve.
• 1 to 9 months after quitting: You’ll cough less and you’ll have less shortness of breath. Your lungs will be more able to handle mucus, clean themselves, and reduce your risk of infection.
• 1 year after quitting: Your excess risk of heart disease will be half that of a smoker.
And the benefits don’t stop there! Within several years your stroke and heart disease risk can equal that of a non-smoker’s and your risk of cancer will be dramatically reduced as well. You’ll also see immediate benefits in your everyday life:
• Your breath will smell better.
• Your teeth will get whiter.
• Your clothes and hair will stop smelling of cigarette smoke.
• Your yellow fingers and fingernails will disappear.
• Your senses of smell and taste will improve.
• Everyday activities – like climbing stairs or doing light housework – won’t leave you out of breath.
There’s one more important benefit to stopping smoking: You’ll save money! Smoking is expensive. When you stop buying cigarettes, the payoff is big.