Will my sense of smell go back to normal once I stop smoking?

As long as there aren't any underlying conditions, your sense of smell will return to normal, as well as your sense of taste. It will not happen over night however, but you will gradually notice a marked improvement as the days, and weeks and months go by.



Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Your sense of smell is likely to return once you stop smoking, but it might not be immediate. It depends on how long you smoked. The rule of thumb is, if you were a two-pack-a-day smoker for five years, it will take the same number of years for your sense of smell to be restored to that of a nonsmoker.
Cigarette smoking often damages your ability to smell. However, if you quit smoking, not only will your risk of early death be minimized, but your ability to smell will be fully restored.
Your sense of smell will quickly improve (within days) of quitting smoking, but it will take longer for it to return to "normal".  Although you will notice an incredible improvement in your ability to smell things, assuming you have no other cause of decreased sense of smell, it is possible that you may never fully recover your olfactory sensation (ability to smell). 
Dr. Robin Miller, MD
Internal Medicine
Within days of quitting smoking your sense of smell should return to normal. In addition, your risk of heart disease and lung cancer starts to go down as well.


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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.