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Health benefits of stopping smoking
When you quit smoking, the health benefits start right away.
You can quit and we can help. You can get free support from the Quit Programme and sign up to a free, personalised Quit plan to help you stop smoking.
After 20 minutes
Your circulation will improve, and your blood pressure and heart rate will get lower. This immediately reduces your risk of a heart attack.
After 8 hours
The nicotine and carbon monoxide levels in your blood go down, and the oxygen level rises.
After 48 hours
The nicotine and carbon monoxide have left your body. Your sense of smell and taste will start to improve.
After 72 hours
Your breathing will improve and your energy levels will increase.
After 2-3 months
Your lung capacity could increase by up to 30%.
After 1 year
Your chance of having a heart attack drops by half.
After 5 years
The risk of smoking-related cancers is greatly reduced.
After 10 years
The risk of lung cancer is reduced by half.
After 15 years
The risk of having a heart attack is the same as a non-smoker.
If you smoke 20 cigarettes a day, a mugful of tar will build up in your lungs over the course of a year. The toxic chemicals in this tar cause cancer. When you give up smoking, your lungs quickly fight back by coughing up tar.