Watch: What Happens To Your Body When You Stop Smoking?

From breathing better to improved taste and smell, here's how your body heals when you quit smoking.

2 min read

Illustrations: Chetan Bakhuni

Video Editor: Abhishek Sharma

Every cigarette you smoke has more than four thousand chemicals. That's four thousand dangerous chemicals including Butane, Ammonia, acetone, and arcenic going into your lungs with every puff.

But, it's still not too late to turn things around. Watch how your body heals itself after you've smoked your last cigarette.


First, your heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature start to normalise only 20 MINUTES after you stub that cigarette butt.

In about EIGHT HOURS, your body has likely expelled over 90 percent of the nicotine.

AFTER 12 HOURS, if you don’t step out for another cigarette break, your blood oxygen level begins to go up, and your carbon monoxide levels start dropping.

The first day of not smoking can be the toughest. You feel anxious, jittery, and uneasy. But remember, it gets worse before it gets better.

On DAY THREE, you are 100 percent nicotine-free. This means the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal peak at this time, but remember these symptoms are a sign that the body is in rebuild mode.

In the first week itself, Your sense of smell and taste begins to improve, and that makes food so much more enjoyable.

Fast forward to a MONTH LATER, and your lung function has improved by 30 percent, which means you can start climbing a flight of stairs without huffing and puffing.

In LESS THAN 9 MONTHS, the Celia in your lungs begins to re-grow - this increases your lungs’ capacity to clear mucus, handle any respiratory infection and make you feel wholesome again.

Your chronic cough, and shortness of breath will also soon disappear.


ONE YEAR LATER, if you sort of realize that one can give up smoking without feeling the urge to murder.

Congratulations on lowering your risk of other deadly ailments like heart attacks and strokes by HALF to that of a smoker!

Your risk of fatal heart diseases and brain strokes are the same as that of a non-smoker in just five years of quitting.

You've practically extended your lifespan!

It might take up to 10 to 15 YEARS, but your risk of ending up with a hole in the throat or dying from lung cancer is (almost) half than that of a smoker.

Of course, this also depends on how long you’ve been smoking for. Depending on the number of cigarettes you smoked, two decades of staying clean would have got down your risk of smoking-related cancers to the same level as that of a non-smoker.

Quitting smoking is a long, complicated affair with possible failures and redoes, but as the Japanese say, success is about falling seven times and getting up eight times.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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Topics:  Quit Smoking   Smoking Effects 

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