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Timeline of immediate effects that happen to your body just minutes after quitting smoking

Timeline of immediate effects that happen to your body just minutes after quitting smoking

Your body will thank you

Quitting smoking might be one of the hardest things to do, but it's safe to say your body will thank you for ditching the nicotine.

It often takes people everything they've got to overcome the addiction, but the good news is that some of the health benefits from packing the habit in start within a matter of minutes.

The main reason that smokers struggle to quit is due to nicotine being 'a powerful and addictive mind-altering drug that affects the body in numerous ways,' NiQuitin says.

The drug does this by releasing noradrenaline, which stimulates the brain.

Professor of Behavioural Medicine at the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences Paul Aveyard spoke more on the subject.

He explained: "Many people who smoke cannot contemplate stopping smoking.

"They know it affects their health, but they feel they need cigarettes to cope with stress".

Aveyard added that people experience that everyday when they take that puff, as it helps them feel better, but these benefits while smoking turn into symptoms of withdrawal when they quit.

It's hard to quit, but it is possible.
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But, not only will you save money if you quit, but the health benefits on offer are endless if you were to give up the nicotine-fuelled habit.

These changes come into play as soon as 20 minutes after a cigarette, according to the NHS.

Here's the full breakdown of what happens when you put down those cigs:

20 minutes after a cigarette

After this period of time, your heart rate will return to normal, as smoking increases your heart rate and tightens your arteries - which therefore makes your heart work harder.

NiQuitin states: "Your heart rate and blood pressure will return to normal in as little as 20 minutes after you extinguish your last cigarette.

"This is because the chemicals in your blood metabolise and return to normal."

The company also explains that cigarettes have 'more than 7,000 harmful chemicals' that will negatively affect your body, so quitting and getting rid of these will help your body return to normal.

Your body will benefit greatly if you quit smoking.
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Eight hours after a cigarette

After this period of time, your oxygen levels will return to normal as the carbon monoxide from cigarettes is cleared from your body, as this gas stops your blood from carrying as much oxygen around the body.

The NHS explains: "Your oxygen levels are recovering, and the harmful carbon monoxide level in your blood will have reduced by half."

48 hours after a cigarette

According to the NHS, after just two days all of this harmful carbon monoxide will be flushed out out your system.

On top of that, your lungs begin clearing out mucus, meaning your senses of taste and smell improve.

72 hours after a cigarette

In just three days, you will 'notice that breathing feels easier' - this is due to the bronchial tubes in your lungs relaxing.

Meanwhile, energy levels will increase too, which is always a plus.

You can half your chances of getting lung cancer by quitting.
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Two to 12 weeks after a cigarette

If you do make it past that initial tough stage of the early days of quitting, within two to 12 weeks, blood will pump 'through to your heart and muscles much better because your circulation will have improved'.

Three to nine months after a cigarette

And within three to nine months, smoker's cough and any wheezing or breathing problems will improve as your lung function increases by up to 10 percent.

You can feel some effects within minutes.
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One year after a cigarette

According to the NHS, if a smoker makes it a whole 365 days, the risk of a heart attack will have halved compared to a regular smoker.

10 years after a cigarette

If you make it a whole decade after putting down your last cigarette, the risk of death from lung cancer will have halved compared to if you had kept smoking.

You can find information and advice to stop smoking on the NHS website for free.

Featured Image Credit: Getty Stock Images

Topics: Health, News, NHS