A Timeline of How Your Body Heals After You Quit Smoking, The Healing Starts After Only 20 Minutes


If you’ve ever tried to stop smoking, you know how difficult it can be. However, even after only 20 minutes, it can be pretty rewarding. You will start to feel the effects almost immediately! Some of the benefits of quitting include:

  • Better tasting food
  • Lower risk of heart attacks
  • Revitalized lungs

Although it may be difficult to quit cold turkey, it’s important that you try to cut the nasty habit. Not only will your breath smell better, but you will get to reap the long term effects.

The longer you stay off the cigarettes, the more benefits you will obtain. Here are a few advantages to laying off the smokes.

After 20 mintues: The effects of quitting start to set in almost immediately. Less than 20 minutes after you last cigarette, your heart rate will start to drop back towards normal levels. Sensations will also start to come alive in hands and legs.


After 8 hours: Carbon monoxide, which can be toxic to the body at high levels, is released from burning tobacco and inhaled as part of cigarette smoke. In just 8 hours, the carbon monoxide in your body decreases to lower levels, and your blood oxygen levels increase to normal.


After 48 hours: it may not be life-threatening, but deadened senses, especially smell and taste, are one of the more obvious consequences of smoking. But after 48 hours without a cigarette, your nerve endings will start to re-grow, and your ability to smell and taste is enhanced.


After 72 hours: Your lungs start to revitalize and you now have the ability to produce deeper breaths, The cilia in your lungs will start to repair itself and the risk of heart attack lowers even more.

4Quit Smoking Community

After 2 weeks: Remember that sick feeling you got everytime you exercised? Well, after two or three weeks, you’ll be able to perform physical activities without that nauseating feeling. This is due to the fact that your lungs have started to clear, and it will be easier to breathe.

5Dr. Matt

After 3 to 9 months: Your skin will start to look and feel soft again. Your blood circulation will improve and your skin produces more collagen. This means your skin puts off the creation of wrinkles.


After 1 to 5 years: Heart disease risk gets cut in half. Typical smoker physical features go away after 1 to 5 years. No more yellow fingers or yellow teeth for you either and cancer risk lowers by 50%.

7Web MD

After 10 to 15 years: The need to smoke is likely no longer there and the results of being smoke free are very positive. After 15 years you reach the same risk of heart disease and cancer as a non-smoker, and your health risks associated with smoking are gone for good!


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