This Is What Happens After You Quit Smoking: A Timeline of How Your Body Heals


Addiction: It’s something most of us have struggled with at some point in our lives, and it’s something that many people still struggle with today. We came across this post on several different sites, and it’s definitely worth sharing; you never know what message will be the right one for someone to make a positive change in their life.

Smoking is one of the most widespread addictions today, with millions (if not billions) of people partaking (source). Although it’s important to consider the root cause of addiction in order to treat it, it’s also good to question the motives of the corporations who manufacture these substances. Why are we constantly surrounded by, and why do big corporations spend billions of dollars on marketing, harmful and carcinogenic products?

At the end of the day, despite how addicting some of these products are, you still have a choice. At the same time, cigarettes, sugar, and junk food (among other things) all have the ability to re-wire our brains, possibly making our ability to make the right choice that much harder.

If you or anybody you know is a heavy smoker, perhaps this will give you or them some encouragement and motivation. Generally, the underlying issues which lead us to engage in harmful behaviours go much deeper and are just as important to address as the health concerns themselves.

Here’s what happens to your body shortly after you stop smoking.

Within 20 minutes after you smoke that last cigarette, your body begins a series of changes that continue for years.

  • 20 Minutes After Quitting
    Your heart rate drops.
  • 12 hours After Quitting
    Carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.
  • 2 Weeks to 3 Months After Quitting
    Your heart attack risk begins to drop.
    Your lung function begins to improve.
  • 1 to 9 Months After Quitting
    Your coughing and shortness of breath decrease.
  • 1 Year After Quitting
    Your added 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 nonsmoker’s 5-15 years after quitting.
  • 10 Years After Quitting
    Your lung cancer death rate is about half that of a smoker’s.
    Your risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney, and pancreas decreases.
  • 15 Years After Quitting
    Your risk of coronary heart disease is back to that of a nonsmoker’s.