Health Benefits for Quitting Smoking

20 minutes after quitting
Your heart rate and blood pressure drops.

12 hours after quitting
Carbon monoxide levels in your blood drop to normal.

2 weeks to 3 months after quitting
Circulation improves and 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, 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.

5 years after quitting
Your stroke risk decreases to that of a nonsmoker 5 to 15 years after quitting.

10 years after quitting
The lung cancer death rate is about half that of someone who continues to smoke. Quitting lowers the risk of cancers of       the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, cervix and pancreas.

15 years after quitting
The risk of coronary heart disease is lowered to that of a nonsmoker.


From the American Cancer Society, “When Smokers Quit—The Health Benefits Over Time.”