After Your Last Smoke

It's never too late

What happens after:

20 Minutes
Your blood pressure returns to its usual level.
Your pulse rate slows to normal.
Your circulation has improved enough that your hands and feet warm to normal temperature.

4 Hours
Half the carbon monoxide from your last cigarette has left your bloodstream.

8 Hours
The carbon monoxide from your last cigarette is now gone from your bloodstream.
Your blood now carries a normal amount of oxygen.

24 Hours
Your chance of a heart attack is lower.

48 Hours
Damaged nerve endings start to re-grow.
Your sense of smell and taste have improved.

2 Weeks to 3 Months
Your circulation is better.
Walking and physical activity is easier.
Lung function increases up to thirty percent.

1 to 9 Months
You cough less.
You have more energy.
You don't become short of breath as easily.
The cilia re-grow in your lungs and you will have less phlegm and infection.

Your heart attack risk has fallen to the halfway mark between that of a current smoker and that of someone who has never smoked.

5 Years
If you used to smoke a pack a day, you have now cut your risk of dying of lung cancer in half.
Your risk of heart attack and stroke is approaching that of a nonsmoker.
You have cut your risk of mouth, throat and esophageal cancer by half.

10 Years
Your chance of dying from lung cancer is almost as low as a nonsmoker's.
Your risk of mouth, throat, esophageal, kidney and pancreatic cancer continues to fall.

10 to 15 Years
Your risk of dying from any cause is almost the same as that of someone who never smoked.

Compiled by JSB, Lakes Region General Hospital, Laconia, NH