Stop smoking timeline: the benefits of giving up

Most smokers are already aware of the harm the habit causes to their body. However, there are plenty of reasons why people continue to smoke. This can include anything from an inability to kick the addiction, to the pressures of everyday life making it seem too difficult. For those who want to quit, we’re here to help.

The benefits of stopping smoking start within just 20 minutes of your last cigarette. From there, your body will slowly recover until eventually your long term health seriously improves.

With that in mind, we’re sharing our stop smoking timeline to help you celebrate the wins on your quitting journey.

Quit smoking timeline
The effects of smoking cessation begin just 20 minutes after your last cigarette1. Here, our giving up smoking timeline helps to show you how kicking the habit will benefit your body.
  • After 20 minutes

    Your heart rate and blood pressure returns to normal[1].

  • After 8 hours

    Oxygen levels return to normal while the nicotine levels in your blood drop to more than half[1].

  • After 48 hours

    Nicotine leaves your body and your carbon monoxide level drops to zero[1]. Your lungs start to clear out mucus and other smoking debris, and your sense of smell/taste improves3.

  • After 72 hours

    Your breathing gets easier and the shortness of breath you often get as a regular smoker will clear up[3]. Bronchial tubes start to relax and your energy levels will rise[1].

  • After 2-12 weeks

    Your circulation improves. Walking and exercise is easier[1].

  • After 3-9 months

    Lung function increases by up to 10%. Coughs, wheezing and breathing problems can become less severe[1].

  • After 1 year

    Risk of heart disease is halved compared to someone who is still smoking[1].

  • After 10 years

    Your chance of getting lung cancer is half that of a current smoker[3].

  • After 15 years

    Your risk of having a heart attack or stroke is the same as that of someone who has never smoked[1].

What are the dangers of smoking?

Your inspiration for kicking the habit should remain clear throughout your journey. Giving up can be tough, so remember to hold on tight to the reason you’re looking to go smoke-free. If this has anything to do with health, it can be pretty motivating to fully understand the dangers.

The NHS reports that smoking kills around 78,000 people in the UK every year[4] while many more live with debilitating illnesses caused by smoking. Not only this but smoking is also stated to be the cause of 70% of all lung cancer cases[4].

Smoking also increases your risk of developing other health conditions[4], including:

  • Heart attacks
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Peripheral vascular disease (damaged blood vessels)
  • Cerebrovascular disease (damaged arteries which supply blood to the brain)
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Pneumonia

Smoking has been linked to impotence in men and fertility issues in both men and women[5]. There’s an increased risk of miscarriage, premature births and still births if a woman smokes when pregnant[5].

The true cost of smoking

Smoking doesn’t only affect your body, it’s a drain on your wallet too. On average, most people who quit cigarette smoking save around £128 per month[6]. That adds up to more than £1,500 a year.

Want to find the true cost of smoking?

Give the NHS’ smoking cost calculator a try to see how much you could save by giving up.

Overcoming nicotine withdrawal symptoms

It’s a common truth that giving up smoking will likely leave you with a number of nicotine withdrawal symptoms. You don’t have to suffer on your own. NiQuitin products are designed to help you quit smoking. Find the most appropriate nicotine replacement therapy product for you and begin your smoke-free journey today!