How your health will improve for every part of your body
When you quit, you reduce your risk of developing smoking-related diseases. Gradually, your body will start to heal itself. As it does, you'll feel the dramatic and positive effect that being a non-smoker has on your overall wellbeing.
Whatever your age, however long you’ve been smoking, it’s never too late to quit. The great thing is it all starts from the very minute you decide to quit.
You may notice your hearing sharpens.
Your teeth will be brighter, your mouth less stained, and your overall mouth health will improve. Within a week of quitting, your sense of taste and smell should improve too.
You can stop the damage smoking does to your eyes. After quitting, your vision is restored, and your night vision will improve.
Your skin will become clearer with fewer blemishes. Collagen will increase as the ageing of your skin slows to a normal rate. This will help to prevent premature lines and wrinkles.
After you quit smoking, your belly fat will reduce.
Your risk for diabetes will decrease. If you have diabetes, your blood sugar control will also improve.
Oestrogen levels will gradually return to normal after you quit smoking. Quitting will also positively impact your fertility, increasing your ability to get pregnant and enjoy a healthier pregnancy.
Smoking alters the blood flow necessary for an erection, affecting sexual performance and your ability to reproduce. Quitting smoking will lower your chance of erectile dysfunction. As for fertility, smoking reduces sperm count and volume and increases the likelihood of sperm abnormality. By quitting, you can turn all that around.
If you smoke and take the contraceptive pill, you may be more likely to develop heart disease than women who don't smoke. You'll reduce that risk by quitting and potentially experiencing fewer menstrual issues.
Smoking may cause menopause at a younger age than women who don't smoke. When you quit, you may experience menopause at an age closer to that of a non-smoker and feel the effects with less severity.
White blood cells
After quitting, your white blood cell count will return to normal. These healthy cells can better protect the entire body, as they no longer have to fight inflammation caused by smoking.
Your ability to heal will increase within 3 months of quitting. Your blood will improve as it will be less thick and sticky. Getting essential nutrients and oxygen to wounds becomes easier, allowing faster healing.
After you stop smoking, your immune system is no longer exposed to tar and nicotine. Within a week, you will have higher blood levels of protective antioxidants such as vitamin C. Within 3 months, your immune system will begin to recover, repairing itself and being able to work harder to protect against future illness.
Reduced cancer risk
Quitting smoking will mean your risk of developing most cancers will generally decrease. This is because the damage to your DNA stops, and DNA that has already been damaged has the chance to repair.
If you quit smoking now, you'll stop further damage to the delicate air sacs in your lungs. This will reduce your risk of developing emphysema.
Easier breathing without irritation
Not long after you quit smoking, cilia start to regrow, regaining their ability to clear foreign particles and defend your body against illness. You may notice you cough more than usual when you first quit—a sign the cilia are starting to function again.
You can stop further damage to your lungs as soon as you quit.
After 2 weeks, breathing and exercising are easier. After 2 months, your lungs will no longer be producing extra phlegm caused by smoking. After 3 months, your lung function and blood flow will be markedly improved.
When you quit, your blood thins and is less likely to form blood clots. Your heart won't have to work as hard, moving blood around your body more easily.
When you quit, the levels of cholesterol and fats circulating in your blood should reduce, which will help to slow the buildup of new fat deposits in your arteries.
Immediately after you quit smoking, your blood pressure and heart rate will lower, and your risk of experiencing a heart attack will decrease within 24 hours. After just one year, your risk of heart disease will have halved. After 5 years, your risk of a stroke will have dramatically decreased. After 15 years, your risk of heart disease will be the same as that of a person who has never smoked.
After quitting, the oxygen in your blood increases and creates healthier muscles, allowing them to grow stronger.
Bones will also become stronger after quitting, so your risk of fractures, breaks and osteoporosis should decrease.
While quitting earlier is best for you and your baby, stopping at any stage will give your baby the opportunity for a healthier start to life and reduce the risk of complications at birth.
Quitting reduces the amount of carbon monoxide in your blood, increasing your oxygen levels. This is important for the healthy growth of your baby.
Cigarette smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, such as hydrogen, cyanide and carbon monoxide. When you quit, your body starts to get rid of these chemicals immediately, which is good for you and your baby.
The improved blood flow you'll experience after quitting smoking means your placenta will get more nutrients, better feeding and nourishing your baby.
After quitting smoking, the toxic chemicals in cigarette smoke will no longer be passed to your baby through breast milk.
Quitting smoking reduces your risk of miscarriage. It also decreases the chance of other serious complications and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).