Everybody now knows that smoking cigarettes is a killer habit that comes with a slew of side-effects and health ailments. So many people want to quit, with most of them stumbling at some point along the way before they kick the habit for good – if they ever do. Some people think that if they’ve been smoking for years or even decades that there are no substantial gains to be had if they quit smoking. After all, “the damage has been done,” right?
As it turns out, that’s not at all true.
From the time you put down your final cigarette and for the next 15 to 20 years, your body will undergo changes ranging from subtle to quite noticeable. Below we’ll detail what changes occur within the human body during the first 24 hours, as well as what long-term benefits are to be gained after 10 years or more.
The First Day
By hour 24, your body will have already undergone some pretty surprising changes for the better.
- Your blood pressure will return to normal.
- The amount of carbon monoxide and nicotine in your blood is cut down to half, and then down to normal levels by the 24th hour. This helps oxygen levels get back to their ideal state.
- You will have already reduced your chances of having a heart attack.
The Third Day
The first 24 hours already bring about a host of health benefits, so imagine what happens by day three. Well, you don’t actually have to imagine, because we’ve got that information right here:
- Some of the most persistent withdrawal symptoms will subside, making the process more bearable as you go on.
- You will breathe tremendously easier by day three of quitting smoking. From here, your lungs are only going to get into better condition over time.
The First Month
30 days have come and gone, and your body is now experiencing an invigorated state.
- Your lungs have drastically improved in functionality, making exercise easier and helping you to breathe better.
- You have experienced the greatest extent of your withdrawal symptoms. While saying no to an offered cigarette might not be a breeze, it will be much easier to turn down the temptation.
- Your risk of having a heart attack has decreased even more.
The First Year
Remember the last 12 months and how tough it was at the beginning? You’ve reached a tremendous milestone and can celebrate with the fact that your risk of developing heart disease has been cut in half!
The Next 5-15 Years
It is over this decade that your body’s systems will return to the state of a non-smoker’s. Specifically, you will have the same risk of developing these diseases as someone who has never smoked:
- Cervical Cancer
- Mouth Cancer
- Throat Cancer
- Esophageal Cancer
- Bladder Cancer
- Heart Disease
You will also be significantly less likely to be afflicted by lung cancer, larynx cancer and cancer of the pancreas.