The official blog of the Lung Institute.

What Happens When a Person Quits Smoking?

30 May 2015
| Under Smoking | Posted by
No Tobacco Lung Institute

In the United States alone, cigarette smoking causes more than 480,000 deaths each year, the Center for Disease Control reports. It is the leading preventable cause of death by a longshot. If you are a smoker, you probably already know that quitting smoking is the best thing that you can do for your health.

About 80% of deaths caused by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are a direct result of cigarette smoking. There are many advantages to quitting smoking, including reducing your chances for developing lung disease. Here is a timeline of what happens when a person quits, courtesy of Healthline:


  • 20 minutes: Heart rate and blood pressure start to drop back toward normal levels
  • 12 hours: Carbon monoxide drops and oxygen increases in body
  • 24 hours: Risk for heart attack drops
  • 48 hours: Smell and taste start to improve
  • 3 days: Nicotine is completely out of the body
  • 2-3 weeks: Better lung function and improved circulation
  • 1-9 months: Cilia (tiny hairs lining the lungs) start to promote the healing of themselves. Coughing and shortness of breath may decrease significantly over the next several months.
  • 1 year: Risk for heart disease lowered by 50%
  • 5 years: Risk for stroke reduced to that of non-smoker
  • 10 years: Risk for lung cancer reduced by 50%. Risk for cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney, and pancreas also decreases.
  • 15 years: Risk for heart disease reduced to that of non-smoker.
  • Long term: According to the American Heart Association, non-smokers generally live 14 years longer than smokers.

As you can see, quitting smoking can greatly improve your health. If you want to quit but aren’t sure where to start, check out smokefree.gov for ideas and support.

Many lifetime smokers suffer from debilitating lung diseases like COPD. If you or a loved one suffers from a lung disease, the Lung Institute may be able to help. Contact us today at 888-745-6697 to find out if you qualify for cellular therapy.

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