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15 Mind-Blowing Ways Your Body Heals After You Quit Smoking

Andreas Jopp

When you quit smoking and no longer inhale the 4,800 toxic substances found in cigarettes, you experience enormous positive changes in your health, fitness, and risks of heart disease and cancer.

After 20 minutes


After 2 hours

This-Is-the-Day-or-Month-You're-Most-Likely-to-Have-a-Heart-Attack_392296663-Syda-ProductionsSyda Productions/shutterstock

Pulse, heartbeat, and blood pressure normalize. In the case of pregnant women: the heartbeat of the unborn child also returns to normal. Try these 23 ways to stop smoking for good.

After 8 hours

Here's-Why-Blood-Is-Red-(Because-You've-Always-Wondered)Phonlamai Photo/shutterstock

Carbon monoxide is reduced and no longer stops oxygen from reaching the blood cells. Your cells have a much better supply of oxygen. In the case of pregnant women: Your unborn child also receives more oxygen.

After 24 hours

This One Trick Could Save Diabetics from a Heart Attack igorstevanovic/Shutterstock

After 48 hours

Nenad Aksic/Shutterstock

Nicotine is completely eliminated from your body.

After 2 days


After 3 days

breatheAntonio Guillem/Shutterstock

Breathing improves significantly. The little hairs on the lungs (cilia) recover. They transport particles from the lungs. A good sign: You cough more because more and more dirt and toxic substances are being removed from the lungs.

After 1 week


After 3 months


On average lung capacity rises by 39 percent and shortness of breath is reduced. Skin tone also improves.

After 3 to 9 months

signs asthma coughingistock/Michelle Gibson

After 12 months


The risk of cardiovascular disease is halved.

After 5 years


After 5 to 10 years


Depending on how much you have smoked, within this period, the risk of cardiovascular diseases, heart attack, and stroke reaches the same level as that of nonsmokers.

After 10 years


Cell and tissue that were precancerous have largely been replaced. The risk of lung cancer continues to drop. The risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, and kidneys continues to drop. Here are 30 other ways to prevent cancer.

After 15 years


Your risk of cancer is the same as that of a nonsmoker.

Want to kick the habit in 30 days?

Get more tips about the science of why we smoke and how to stop (without gaining weight) and with proven strategies you can personalize, read I Know You Like to Smoke But You Can Quit Now, available on Amazon. Next, learn more about the 11 things doctors wish you knew about lung cancer.

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