What Happens When You Quit

  • Immediately after quitting smoking, heart rate and blood pressure, which is abnormally high while smoking, begin to return to normal.
  • Within a few hours, the level of carbon monoxide, which reduces the blood’s ability to carry oxygen, begins to decline.
  • Within a few weeks, food tastes better, and your sense of smell returns to normal.
  • Circulation improves, you don’t produce as much phlegm, and you don’t cough or wheeze as often.
  • The workload on the heart is decreased and cardiac function improves.
  • Within several months of quitting, you experience significant improvements in lung function.
  • In one year, your risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke is cut in half.
  • In five years, many kinds of cancer, including lung, larynx, mouth, stomach, cervix, bladder, show decline in risk, and that decline approaches the risk of someone who has never smoked.
  • Within 10 to 15 years, risk of lung disease, including bronchitis and emphysema, are decreased.
  • Conditions such as cataracts, macular degeneration, thyroid conditions, hearing loss, dementia, and osteoporosis are positively affected.
  • Medications may work better, enabling some to be taken in decreased doses.
  • If you’re taking birth control pills, quitting smoking will decrease your chance of heart attack and stroke due to clotting.
  • You’ll have decreased risk for impotence and infertility.
  • If you’re pregnant, you’ll protect your unborn child from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and low birth weight.
  • Years will be added to your life: people who quit smoking, regardless of their age, are less likely than those who continue to smoke to die from smoking-related illness.
Smoking-caused productivity losses in Vermont: $192 million GET INVOLVED