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Benefits of Quitting Smoking Timeline: How Your Health Improves

Medically reviewed by Mike Kenneth Go Doratan, MD · General Surgery · The Medical City Ortigas

Written by Den Alibudbud · Updated Dec 14, 2022

Benefits of Quitting Smoking Timeline: How Your Health Improves

Are you thinking about quitting smoking or are in the planning stages of giving up the habit? You should know that you are making the right decision. The moment you quit, you have immediately made the best decision for your body. Here’s what to expect once you quit smoking and a look at an eye-opening benefits of quitting smoking timeline. 

Statistics in the Philippines

It is important to know that smoking is a leading cause of preventable death in the Philippines. Based on statistics from the Department of Health, there are around 200 Filipinos who die each day because of diseases related to smoking.

Based on studies, there are over 17 million Filipino smokers, making the Philippines the 15th largest consumer of tobacco products in the world.

Negative Effects of Smoking on Health

Whenever you smoke a cigarette, the poison contained in the tar enters your bloodstream. This can increase your heart rate which makes your heart work harder than normal. They can narrow your veins which restricts the amount of blood circulating through your body.

Smoking will also increase the chances that you will have a stroke compared to someone who doesn’t smoke. The truth is that smoking increases the chances that you will have a stroke by as much as 50%. Then, of course, your lungs will be severely affected by inhaled smoke. In fact, smoking causes more than 80% of the fatalities from lung cancer. But a quick look at the benefits of quitting smoking timeline will tell you that much of the damage of smoking is reversible or reduced over time.

Smoking Addiction

Although the effects of smoking have been well-proven, people who have already developed the habit find it hard to quit. This is mainly because smoking is a highly addictive activity because of the nicotine content of the tobacco. 

Nicotine is the chemical found in cigarettes and other tobacco products that is very addictive. Nicotine is what makes quitting smoking so difficult. According to experts, nicotine can be as hard to give up as heroin. When you look at it in light of that information, you will realize just how dangerous smoking is.

Though not as rewarding when compared with other drugs, nicotine offers a unique effect. It is both a stimulant and sedative. When the body gets to experience nicotine first, it brings in a kind of kick. Then nicotine also makes the brain release dopamine which gives that pleasurable sensation when smoking.

benefits of quitting smoking timeline

Benefits of Quitting Smoking Timeline

Now, that you know a bit more about the effects of smoking on your body, you should know how quitting can help you. What you should realize is that the moment you stop smoking, there are health benefits already. Take a closer look at this benefits of quitting smoking timeline:

After 20 minutes

Within 20 minutes after you stopped smoking your heart rate will go down. That means your heart will be not be working as hard. Your blood pressure will also go down and the circulation of blood be better throughout your body.

After 12 hours

The benefits of quitting smoking timeline has more good news after just 12 hours. Within a few hours of smoking your last cigarette, your body will start cleansing itself of the harmful toxins, including carbon monoxide, which is highly poisonous. After 12 hours, the carbon monoxide level within your body should be back to normal and there should be more oxygen moving around your body.

After 1 day

The effects of quitting smoking take effect almost immediately. Believe it or not, after just one day of smoking your last cigarette, the risk of having a heart attack will be reduced already. That’s important because heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in the Philippines. The lowered risk comes from the fact that your blood pressure will be lowered once you have quit smoking.

After 2-12 weeks

Be proud as you now have a healthier heart and lungs. This benefits of quitting timeline shows that you can expect an improvement in your blood circulation and lung function after just a few weeks.

After 1-9 months

Starting in the first month of the benefits of quitting smoking timeline, you will feel generally better and more energized. If you had been experiencing shortness of breath and coughing due to smoking, now you can breathe more deeply without any problem. This can greatly motivate you in becoming more physically active as you are no longer out of breath.

After 1 year

After 12 months of kicking the habit, you, by now, have significantly lowered your risk of coronary heart disease. It is now half of when you were smoking.

After 5 years

By now, you have successfully kept the cravings under control and are enjoying a more fulfilling life. And the benefits of quitting smoking timeline continues.

After five years of quitting smoking, your blood vessels will have started to heal itself. The materials that block it will start to disappear. The vessels will start to widen again and the blood will continue to flow normally.

Continue to exercise and find other ways to reduce stress and anxiety. After 5 years since your last cigarette, you have also reduced your risk of stroke significantly.

After 10 years

The benefits of quitting smoking timeline continue years after you quit. Your risk for lung cancer has dropped to only about half that of a smoker. You have also reduced your risk of reducing other smoking-related cancers like cancer of the mouth, throat, bladder, cervix, pancreas and esophagus.

After 15 years

It has been a long journey but you have given your lungs the chance to fully heal, further reducing the risk of coronary heart disease.

After 15 years, the chances of developing coronary heart disease and pancreatic cancer have become equal to someone who never tried smoking. 

After 20 years

It will take 20 years for the risk of developing lung diseases including lung cancer to drop to the level of someone who has never smoked. At the end of the day, it is always better to not start smoking at all.

Benefits of Quitting Smoking Timeline: Key Takeaways

Smoking is an addictive habit, which is why quitting is always easier said than done. Knowing the health benefits that one can derive from stopping this habit can be a significant motivation for one to quit. By understanding the benefits of quitting smoking timeline, you can see the bigger picture of how dangerous smoking can be and why it takes a long time for your lungs to recuperate. 

However, looking at it from another perspective, it gives long-time smokers hope that they can successfully recover, repair their lungs, and take control of their health. Keep in mind the benefits of quitting smoking timeline to motivate you to quit.

When you have finally decided to quit and are ready to commit, it is crucial that you seek all the help that you can get. You should seek the support of your friends and family members. You should also seek help from professionals so you can get some advice on how you can quit permanently.

Learn more about Quitting Smoking here


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Mike Kenneth Go Doratan, MD

General Surgery · The Medical City Ortigas

Written by Den Alibudbud · Updated Dec 14, 2022

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