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Public Health - Seattle & King County

The benefits of quitting!

When you give up smoking, your body starts going through good changes right away! Let’s take a quick look at some changes based on information from the American Cancer Society.1

Within 20 minutes of your last cigarette...

Your blood pressure and heart rate drops to a normal rate for you.

12 hours

The carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.

2 weeks to 3 months

Your circulation improves. Lung function increases.

1 to 9 months

There's less coughing, sinus congestion, tiredness, and shortness of breath. Cilia (tiny hairs) re-grow in your lungs to better handle mucous, clean your lungs, and reduce infection.

1 year after quitting

Your extra risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker's.

5 to 15 years

Your stroke risk goes down to that of a nonsmoker.

10 years after quitting

The lung cancer death rate is about half that of a person who still smokes. Your risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, cervix, and pancreas goes down.

15 years after quitting

Your risk of coronary heart disease is that of a nonsmoker's.


1 American Cancer Society. When Smokers Quit – What are the Benefits Over Time? Retrieved November 2, 2010.


Five tips for quitting
Studies have shown that these five steps will help you quit and quit for good. You have the best chances of quitting if you use these five steps to develop and maintain your own quit plan.
1. Get ready.
2. Get support.
3. Learn new skills and behaviors.
4. Get medication and use it correctly.
5. Be prepared for difficult situations.
Talk to your health care provider, they can help. If you do not have insurance or just need to talk to someone, call the Washington Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-784-8669.

Call the Tobacco Quit Line at 1-800-784-8669