Health Benefits of Quitting

It is never too late to quit. When you quit smoking, your health improves.

After:

  • 20 minutes, your heart rate drops.
  • 12 hours, the carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.
  • 2 weeks to 3 months, your heart attack risk begins to drop and your lung function improves.
  • 1 to 9 months, your coughing and shortness of breath decrease.
  • 1 year, your added risk of heart disease is half that of a smoker's.
  • 2-5 years, your risk of stroke is the same as nonsmokers.
  • 10 years, your lung cancer death rate is about half that of a smoker's.
  • 15 years, your risk of heart disease is back to that of a nonsmoker's.1

If you have diabetes, after you quit smoking you will have better control over your blood sugar levels.2

If you quit before getting pregnant or during your first trimester, the risk of having a low birth weight baby drops to normal.2

Quitting on your own can be hard. Help from your health care provider can help you quit for good.

References:

  1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2014.
  2. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking: What It Means to You. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2004.