Facts about Quitting

Immediate rewards of quitting smoking:

  • Stained teeth get whiter
  • Breath smells better
  • Bad smell in clothes and hair go away
  • Yellow fingers and fingernails disappear
  • Food tastes better
  • Sense of smell returns to normal
  • Everyday activities (such as climbing stairs) no longer leave you out of breath
  • You can be in smoke-free buildings without having to go outside to smoke


Did you know?
20 minutes after quitting
Your heart rate and blood pressure drop.


12 hours after quitting
The carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.


2 weeks to 3 months after quitting
Your circulation improves and your lung function increases.  


1 to 9 months after quitting
Coughing and shortness of breath decrease; cilia in the lungs regain normal function increasing the ability to clean the lungs.  


1 year after quitting
The excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a continuing smoker’s.  


5 years after quitting
Risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder are cut in half. Cervical cancer risk falls to that of a non-smoker. Stroke risk can fall to that of a non-smoker after 2-5 years.


10 years after quitting
The risk of dying from lung cancer is about half that of a person who is still smoking. The risk of cancer of the larynx (voice box) and pancreas decreases.


15 years after quitting
The risk of coronary heart disease is that of a non-smoker’s.


These are just a few of the benefits of quitting smoking for good. Quitting smoking lowers the risk of diabetes, lets blood vessels work better, and helps the heart and lungs. Quitting while you are younger will reduce your health risks more, but quitting at any age can give back years of life that would be lost by continuing to smoke.


American Cancer Society. (2014, February 06). Guide to quitting smoking. Retrieved September 13, 2016, from http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/002971-pdf.pdf

Additional Resources

Program Information Nicotine Replacement Therapy