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What happens to your body when you quit smoking & how long does it take to fully recover?

Written by and John Dicey | Last Updated 05 December 2018

Reviewed by Sue Bolshaw

So you’ve been smoking for a long time and you think it will be hard to quit so is it worth it? The good news is that the human body is an amazing creation and starts healing in less than 20 minutes after that final cigarette. We discuss both the short term and long term effects to your body and mind.

Good news, it is worth stopping smoking for your future health!

The good news is that the human body is an amazing creation and starts healing much faster than you would imagine. In fact less than 20 minutes after that final cigarette your body will begin to improve. We will discuss both the short term and long term effects below based on the findings by Centre for Disease Control and Prevention CDC:


Period Effect

Freedom and no desire to smoke or take substitutes like gum or vaping providing you quit with Allen Carr’s Easyway

20 mins

Heart rate and blood pressure drop closer to normal.

Hands and feet will also warm up to their usual temperature

Socialise with smokers with no envy or fear of smoking again providing you quit with Allen Carr’s Easyway

2 – 12 hours

Carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal

Nicotine in your blood has halved

Muscles and brain function is better because more oxygen is now in the blood stream

Withdrawal / cravings occur when quitting with many methods but not with Allen Carr’s Easyway

24 – 48 hours

Heart attack risk reduces. If you smoke a pack a day you are twice as likely to have an attack than a non-smoker but after a day smoke free this reduces.

Smell and taste improve because the nerve endings begin to regrow according to Cleveland Clinic

Lungs will be cleaning removing the junk left from cigarettes

Asthma can get worse as the lungs clean but is temporary

Nicotine is no longer in your body

2 Weeks to 3 Months

Heart attack risk reduces further.

Lung capacity and performance will regenerate and according to the American Heart Association enabling intense activities such as running

1 to 9 Months

Coughing will no longer be a hacking

Shortness of breath will decrease

Energy will increase

Illness will decrease such as fewer colds

1 Year

Heart attack risk drops to half that of a smoker

5 Years

Heart attack risk is now that of a non-smoker

Cervical cancer risk is now that of a non-smoker

Mouth, throat, esophagus and bladder cancer risk is now half

10 Years

Lung Cancer risk is now half that of a smoker

Mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney, larynx and pancreas cancer risk drop

15 Years

Heart disease risk is now that of a non-smoker

Allen Carr’s Easyway has been described as ‘a real smoker’s way to quit’. You carry on smoking until you’re ready to stub out your final cigarette. Easyway doesn’t focus on the downsides of smoking – smokers know all about those already. Instead the method answers the question ‘What’s so great about being a smoker?’ Understanding that is the key to being set free.

Find the right stop vaping and smoking programme for you