Father enjoying time with child

Health Benefits


As soon as you quit smoking your body begins to repair itself. The health benefits increase with time.

Within the first couple of hours

Your heart rate slows and your blood pressure decreases.

Within a day

Almost all of the nicotine is out of your bloodstream.

The level of carbon monoxide in your blood has dropped to normal levels and oxygen can more easily reach your heart and muscles.

Within a week

Your sense of taste and smell may have improved, making food taste better than it has in years.

Your lungs’ natural cleaning system is starting to recover, becoming better at removing mucus, tar and dust from your lungs (exercise will also help to clear out your lungs).

You have higher blood levels of protective antioxidants such as vitamin C.

Your fingertips become warmer and your hands steadier as general blood circulation has also started to improve.

Within 2 months

You’re coughing and wheezing less as the tiny hairs lining the lungs, known as cilia, work normally again and clean the lungs to reduce the risk of infection.

Your immune system is beginning its recovery so your body is better at fighting infections in general. Your blood is less thick and sticky and circulation to your hands and feet has improved.

Within 6 months

Your lungs are working much better, producing less phlegm.

You’re likely to feel less stressed than when you were smoking.

After 1 year

You’re breathing easier as your lungs are now healthier and more efficient. Your risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker.

Within 2 to 5 years

Your risk of heart attack and stroke drops dramatically and continues to decrease over time. Your risk of contracting mouth, throat, oesophagus and bladder cancers has halved.

For women who have quit smoking five years earlier, the risk of cervical cancer is the same as someone who has never smoked.

After 10 years

Your risk of lung cancer is half than that of a smoker. The risk of pancreatic and larynx cancer also decreases.

After 15 years

Your risk of heart attack and stroke is close to that of a non-smoker, who has never smoked.

Sourced and adapted from: http://www.quit.org.au/reasons-to-quit/health-benefits-of-quitting and www.cancer.org.