Rewards of stopping smoking

When you stop smoking, the withdrawals and cravings can make it easy to forget why you’re stopping in the first place.

There are so many ways that stopping smoking will improve your life:

  • save money. An average smoker has 13 cigarettes a day. Use the NHS Cost Calculator to find out how much better off you’ll be
  • food will taste better as your sense of taste and smell start to return
  • simple daily tasks that involve moving and walking will become much easier as your breathing and general fitness improve
  • your fertility levels will improve, increasing the chances of a healthy pregnancy and baby
  • the appearance of your skin and teeth will improve and you will not have to worry about smoker’s breath anymore

Stopping smoking will also bring positive changes to those around you:

  • not smoking will add years onto your life, which you’ll be around longer for your friends and family
  • you’ll reduce the chances of your children getting bronchitis, asthma attacks and ear infections
  • you will not need to interrupt social gatherings with your friends and family to have a cigarette break
  • you’ll protect the health of your friends and family by not exposing them to second-hand smoke.

You can find more information about the dangers of second-hand smoke on the NHS Smokefree website.

After you quit

See how quickly things start to improve once you stop smoking below:

  • after 20 minutes your blood pressure returns to normal and circulation improves
  • after 8 hours your oxygen levels return to normal whilst nicotine and carbon monoxide levels reduce by half
  • after 24 hours your lungs begin to clear out mucus and carbon monoxide is eliminated from your body
  • after 48 hours your sense of taste and smell improve and all the nicotine has left your body
  • after 72 hours you have more energy and your breathing is easier
  • after 2 to 12 weeks it's easier for you to walk and exercise and your circulation has improved
  • after 3 to 9 months your lung capacity has improved by 5-10% and coughing, shortness of breath and wheezing has improved
  • after 5 years you have the same chance of having a stroke as a non-smoker
  • after 10 years your chance of getting lung cancer is half of that of a smoker and your chance of having a heart attack is the same as a non-smoker