What happens when you quit smoking

What happens to your body when you quit smoking?

Smoking cigarettes is one of the leading causes of preventable death in the UK. Quitting can be daunting. For many people, the common fear is that it can take years and years to undo any of the negative impacts smoking has had on the body and that they won’t see any real benefits for a long time.

However, believe it or not, you can see a variety of health benefits begin in as little as an hour after the last cigarette and continue to improve as time goes on.

One day after quitting smoking

Just one day after you stop smoking, the risk of having a heart attack begins to decrease, and blood pressure will drop to a healthier amount, reducing the risk of heart disease. Levels of toxins like carbon monoxide inhaled through cigarettes reduce to normal levels and your circulation may begin to improve.

One month after quitting smoking

In as little as a month, your general lung function will greatly improve, leading to a decrease in shortness of breath, coughing and an increase in energy. You may notice a heightened sense of taste and smell, as smoking damages the nerve endings responsible for these senses. After three days you may see withdrawal symptoms kicking in as your body readjusts, leading to headaches, moodiness and irritability. Don’t let them get the better of you! Help is on hand. Give us a ring, or join Our LiveWell Facebook group for advice and support.

One year after quitting smoking

After a year, your risk of developing coronary heart disease will have decreased by half and will continue to decrease. Your circulation will have greatly improved. Your lungs will have significantly healed themselves, with the cilia in your lungs being better equipped to deal with mucus and infections. 

10 years after quitting smoking

After ten years, your chances of developing lung cancer are cut in half compared to other smokers. The likelihood of developing mouth, throat and pancreatic cancer will have significantly decreased. You will have seen drastic healing of your blood vessels; which have been narrowed by smoking. This widening means you are less likely to develop blood clots or suffer from a stroke.

20 Years after Quitting Smoking

After 20 years, the risk of developing coronary heart disease, pancreatic cancer and all deaths from smoking-related causes becomes the same as a non-smoker.

 Take your next step to LiveWell

So you can see that your body goes through some very beneficial changes, very quickly, once you start to give up smoking, and it is never too late to start seeing these benefits. Register with us today to see how we can help you start your stop-smoke story.


How does this work?

The tailored approach LiveWell Dorset uses to come up with solutions to the things that are stopping us achieving our goals, is based upon work done by University College London developing the COM-B model of behaviour change. In this model, all behaviour is influenced by understanding a person’s capability to change, their opportunity to change and their motivation to change. By understanding which of these is the biggest barrier to change, we can tailor support accordingly. This model of behaviour change is at the centre of the support we offer, online and in person.

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