Benefits of stopping smoking

It is never too late to quit. Immediate benefits will be seen from giving up smoking.

When you stop smoking:

  • 20 minutes - blood pressure and pulse return to normal
  • 8 hours - nicotine and carbon monoxide levels in the blood reduce by half and oxygen levels return to normal
  • 24 hours - carbon monoxide will be eliminated from the body
  • 48 hours - there is no nicotine left in the body
  • 72 hours - breathing becomes easier
  • 3-9 months - coughs, wheezing and breathing problems improve as lung function increases
  • 1 year - risk of heart attack is half that of a smoker
  • 10 years - risk of lung cancer falls to half that of a smoker
  • 15 years - risk of heart attack falls to the same as someone who has never smoked.


  • Improved sense of taste and smell
  • More energy
  • Clearer, less irritated eyes
  • Feeling more relaxed
  • Wake up feeling better
  • Fewer allergy and sinus problems
  • Improvement in existing problems such as asthma, diabetes and emphysema
  • Improved complexion.

Page last updated:04 March 2019