Smoking Cessation Time Line

I was surfing the web recently and came across the image below from the BeTobaccoFree.Gov website that shows how much time it takes to get healthier if you give up smoking and the improvement in your health over the following years.

Quit smoking2

What I found interesting was the immediate and mid-term improvements.  For example :-

20 Minutes

Your heart rate and blood pressure start to return to normal. You will feel more sensations in your hands and your legs. Your body will slowly start to clean itself from the nicotine, which can make you crave for another cigarette, but try and be persistent.

12 Hours

You inhale carbon monoxide when tobacco is burning and that bonds with your blood cells.  This in turn prevents oxygen bonding to your blood cells and can cause dangerous cardiovascular diseases.

You can cut that level of carbon monoxide in your blood back to normal by not smoking for 12 hours. Your oxygen levels will start to return to normal.

3 Months

Your respiratory system will start to get back to normal and you will start breathing more easily again. After three months of not smoking taking larger, deeper breaths becomes easier.

Microscopic hairs, called cilia, are found along your air passages and move in a sweeping motion to keep the air passages clean. But if harmful substances, such as cigarette smoke, are inhaled, the cilia stop functioning properly, causing health problems like bronchitis.  These cilia will repair and start to function normally again.

Within 9 Months

Your cough will start to drastically reduce, although when and by how much depends on how long you’ve been smoking as the lungs slowly continue to clean themselves and get rid of toxins.  As a result, you can be more physically active and you can start to do some cardio exercises without getting short of breath.

1 Year

Your risk of coronary heart disease is cut by a massive 50% !

As you can see from the infographic, some of the benefits of stopping smoking can be felt very quickly while other can take much longer – so the sooner you give up smoking the sooner you will be on the road to a healthier life.  What’s stopping you making the initial step on that path?