Health Matters

8 Things That Happen to Your Body When You Quit Smoking

Posted by Dr. Susan Ziglar on Oct 8, 2017 10:00:00 PM

African-american couple riding bikes outsideThanks to various anti-smoking campaigns over the years, we are all aware of the impact that quitting can have on cancer and heart disease reduction. However, you may not be aware that your risks for these diseases can lessen quite quickly. It often comes as a surprise to our patients that quitting, even after many years of smoking, can make a huge impact.

According to data compiled by the American Cancer Society:

  1. Within 20 minutes of quitting smoking your heart rate and blood pressure drop
  2. Within 12 hours the carbon monoxide levels in your blood are back to normal levels
  3. As early as two weeks after quitting, your circulation and lung function begin to improve
  4. One year after quitting, your heart attack risk drops drastically and your risk of heart disease is half that of an average smoker
  5. Two (to five) years after quitting, your stroke risk can fall to that of a non-smoker
  6. Five years after quitting, your risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus and bladder is cut in half. The risk of cervical cancer is also reduced to that of a non-smoker
  7. 10 years after quitting your risk of dying from lung cancer is about half that of a person who is still smoking. Your risk of cancer of the voice box and pancreas also decreases
  8. 15 years after quitting your risk of coronary heart disease is that of a non-smoker’s

What about the benefits of quitting right away?

  1. Foods will start to taste better
  2. Your sense of smell will return
  3. Your breath, hair and clothes smell better
  4. Ordinary activities leave you less out of breath

Quitting will no doubt be one of the hardest things you’ve ever done; but with support, it’s an achievable goal. Find out more about your medical and group support options from your physician.

Dr. Susan Ziglar is board-certified in family medicine. She practices with Currituck Internal Medicine and Family Practice, a part of Chesapeake Regional Medical Group.

Topics: Cardiology, Family Health 101, Lifestyle & Wellness, Lung Health, Smoking