Health & Wellbeing Service - Manchester

Health benefits when you quit


You will start to feel your health improve straight away when you quit smoking.

  • 20 minutes - Blood pressure and pulse rate return to normal. Circulation improves in hands and feet, making them warmer.
  • 8 Hours - Oxygen levels in the blood return to normal. Chances of heart attack start to fall.
  • 24 Hours - Carbon Monoxide is eliminated from your body. The lungs start to clear out mucous and other debris.
  • 48 Hours - Nicotine is no longer found in the body. Taste and smell improves.
  • 72 Hours - Breathing becomes easier as the breathing tubes relax. Energy levels increase.
  • 2-12 weeks - Circulation improves throughout the body, making walking easier.
  • 3-9 months - Breathing problems such as cough, shortness of breath, and wheezing improve. Overall, lung function is increased by 5-10%.
  • 5 Years - Risk of heart attack falls to about half that of someone who smokes.
  • 10 Years - Risk of lung cancer falls to about half of that of someone who smokes. Risk of a heart attack falls to about the same as someone who has never smoked.

Based on information from the 1990 US Surgeon General’s Report. Helping smokers to quit © Quit 1994.