Within 20 Minutes
of Quitting ...

  • Quitting smoking at any age is good for your health.

  • No one is too old to quit – for themselves and their family.

  • And if it takes more than one try to quit – just try again.

Within 20 minutes after you smoke that last cigarette, your body begins a series of changes that continue for years.

20 Minutes After Quitting
Your heart rate drops.

12 hours After Quitting
Carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.

2 Weeks to 3 Months After Quitting
Your heart attack risk begins to drop.
Your lung function begins to improve.

1 to 9 Months After Quitting
Your coughing and shortness of breath decrease.

1 Year After Quitting
Your added risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker’s

5 Years After Quitting
Your stroke risk is reduced to that of a nonsmoker’s 5-15 years after quitting

10 Years After Quitting
Your lung cancer death rate is about half that of a smoker’s.
Your risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney, and pancreas decreases

15 Years After Quitting
Your risk of coronary heart disease is back to that of a nonsmoker’s

Compared to smokers, your…

  • Stroke risk is reduced to that of a person who never smoked after 5 to 15 years of not smoking
  • Cancers of the mouth, throat, and esophagus risks are halved 5 years after quitting
  • Cancer of the larynx risk is reduced after quitting
  • Coronary heart disease risk is cut by half 1 year after quitting and is nearly the same as someone who never smoked 15 years after quitting
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease risk of death is reduced after you quit Lung cancer risk drops by as much as half 10 years after quitting
  • Ulcer risk drops after quitting
  • Bladder cancer risk is halved a few years after quitting
  • Peripheral artery disease goes down after quitting
  • Cervical cancer risk is reduced a few years after quitting
  • Low birth weight baby risk drops to normal if you quit before pregnancy or during your first trimester