Within 20 Minutes of Quitting
Within 20 minutes after you smoke that last cigarette, your body begins a series of changes that continue for years.
- 20 Minutes After Quitting
Your heart rate drops.
- 12 hours After Quitting
Carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.
- 2 Weeks to 3 Months After Quitting
Your heart attack risk 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 Years After Quitting
Your stroke risk is reduced to that of a nonsmoker’s 5-15 years after quitting.
- 10 Years After Quitting
Your lung cancer death rate is about half that of a smoker’s.
Your risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney, and pancreas decreases.
- 15 Years After Quitting
Your risk of coronary heart disease is back to that of a nonsmoker’s.
Disclaimer: Data and findings provided in the publications on this page reflect the content of this particular Surgeon General's Report. More recent information may exist elsewhere on the Smoking & Tobacco Use Web site (for example, in fact sheets, frequently asked questions, or other materials that are reviewed on a regular basis and updated accordingly).
- Page last reviewed: July 15, 2015
- Page last updated: May 27, 2004
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