The benefits of quitting

How long does it take to get the benefits of quitting tobacco? They begin almost right away and build over time.

20 minutes:
Your heart rate and blood pressure go down.

12 hours:
Carbon monoxide levels in your blood return to normal.

2 weeks to 3 months:
Circulation and lung function are improved.

1 to 9 months:
You’re less likely to have smoking-related problems like coughing and shortness of breath. The tiny hairs (cilia) that line your lungs begin working normally again, which helps keep your lungs clean and cuts your risk of infection.

1 year:
Your risk of getting coronary heart disease is now half that of someone who still smokes.

5 years:
Your mouth, throat, esophagus and bladder cancer risk are reduced by half. Your risk of cervical cancer and stroke are cut, too.

10 years:
Your risk of dying from lung cancer is about half that of someone who smokes. Your risk of cancer of the larynx (voice box) and pancreas are also lowered.

15 years:
Congratulations! Your heart disease risk is now the same as it is for a nonsmoker.


Download this timeline as a PDF


American Cancer Society