Better Health Starts After the Last Cigarette Make an Appointment Ask a Question Search Conditions This information has been reviewed and approved by Thomas Ylioja, MSW, PhD (December 2019). Summary: Better Health Starts After the Last CigaretteI Quit!After the last cigarette, the road to better health starts within minutes and continues for years. Here are the changes your body experiences along that journey. 20 MinutesBlood pressure, pulse rate and body temperature all drop to normal levels 8 HoursCarbon monoxide level in blood drops to normalOxygen level in blood increases to normal"Smoker's breath" disappears 24 HoursChances of a heart attack decreases 48 HoursNerve endings start to regrow Within 3 MonthsCirculation improvesWalking becomes easierLung capacity increases and lung function improves Within 9 MonthsCoughing, sinus congestion, tiredness and shortness of breath decrease 1 YearExcess risk of coronary heart disease is decreased to half that of a smoker 5 YearsFrom 5-15 years after quitting, stroke risk is reduced to that of people who never smokedRisk at developing mouth, throat, esophageal cancer is half that of a smoker 10 YearsRisk of cancer drops to as little as one-half that of continuing smokersRisk of ulcer decreasesLung cancer death rate similar to nonsmoker 15 YearsRisk of coronary heart disease and death returns to nearly same level of people who never smokedCongratulations for taking steps to improve your health! DISCLAIMER: If you have other health conditions, your results may differ. More Information on Quitting SmokingQuitting TobaccoReasons to QuitTypes of TobaccoPreparing to QuitStaying Tobacco FreeQuit Tobacco ResourcesTobacco and Your HealthSecondhand SmokeTobacco Cessation ProgramFind a DoctorMake an AppointmentWant to use this on your website? Fill out the content usage request form and then copy this code: or download our Better Health Starts After the Last Cigarette infographic poster (pdf).