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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.

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page last reviewed: 25/03/2019
next review due: 25/03/2022

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