Benefits of Quitting

20 Minutes After Quitting:

  • Your heart rate drops to a normal level.

12 Hours After Quitting:

  • The carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.

2 Weeks to 3 Months After Quitting:

  • Your risk of having a heart attack 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 to 15 Years After Quitting:

  • Your risk of having a stroke is reduced to that of a nonsmoker's.

  • Your risk of getting cancer of the mouth, throat, or esophagus is half that of a smoker's.

10 Years After Quitting:

  • Your risk of dying from lung cancer is about half that of a smoker's.

  • Your risk of getting bladder cancer is half that of a smoker's.

  • Your risk of getting cervical cancer or cancer of the larynx, kidney or pancreas decreases.

15 Years After Quitting:

  • Your risk of coronary heart disease is the same as that of a nonsmoker.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2004.