This Is What Happens To Your Body 20 Minutes After You Quit Smoking

by Ileana Paules-Bronet
Ileana is the Senior Editor of Branded Content at Wild Sky Media. She grew up in upstate New York and Oregon and now lives in Queens, NY. Ileana graduated from Skidmore College with a degree in sociology. After graduating, she attended the Columbia Publishing Course in New York City, then worked as in marketing at Oxford University Press. Since transitioning to editorial, she has written for BuzzFeed, HuffPost, and Woman's World. She has also worked for local newspapers and magazines in upstate New York. In her free time, you can find Ileana watching Law & Order: SVU, eating ice cream, and spending time with her dog.

Many people who are lifetime smokers spend years trying to quit. As any smoker knows, though, nicotine is addictive, so quitting smoking is no easy feat.

When people decide to finally quit smoking, it’s a true test of willpower. One thing that gets people to continue avoiding cigarettes is knowing that they’ll experience health benefits as time passes.

Although many people know that quitting smoking will help lower their chances of lung cancer, there are actually many other health-related reasons to quit smoking.

Within just days, people may experience a variety of bodily sensations, from lower blood pressure to an increased sense of smell.

In fact, people feel some health benefits right away.

If you quit smoking or are thinking about quitting smoking, you need to read this to find out exactly what happens when your body heals from smoking.

According to Huffington Post and CVS Health, the health benefits of quitting smoking last a lifetime.

Read on to see a timeline of all the health changes that happen after you put out your last cigarette!

Thumbnail: Wikimedia

20 To 30 Minutes After Quitting Smoking

quit smoking circulation
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Within 20 to 30 minutes after your last cigarette, you will experience increased circulation throughout your body, as well as lower blood pressure. explains that your pulse will start to drop, and you’ll notice your hands and feet starting to warm up.

Eight Hours After Quitting Smoking

quit smoking oxygen
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

After only eight hours, the oxygen levels in your blood increase.

Additionally, explains that after 12 hours, your carbon monoxide blood levels drop to normal.

Two Days After Quitting Smoking

quit smoking senses
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

After two days of not smoking, you’ll have heightened senses of smell and taste!

With everything smelling more fragrant and tasting more delicious, this might be one of the most noticeable changes.

Three Days After Quitting Smoking

quit smoking lungs
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Three days after your last cigarette, your bronchial tubes relax.

That means that your lungs will be more relaxed, and breathing may feel less labored than before.

Two To Three Weeks After Quitting Smoking

quit smoking jogging
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Many people who smoke notice that they don’t have a lot of stamina when it comes to exercising.

After two to three weeks, you’ll experience an increase in endurance, better lung function, and increased circulation, according to

One To Nine Months After Quitting Smoking

quit smoking sinuses
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

In less than a year, the number of benefits you’ll experience from quitting smoking will be huge.

In addition to all the previously mentioned benefits, you’ll also see a decrease in coughing and sinus congestion. says that tiny hairs in your lungs will regain normal function and they will be better able to clear mucus and reduce infection.

You’ll also feel an overall increase in energy.

One Year After Quitting Smoking

quit smoking heart
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

According to the CDC, an incredible benefit to quitting smoking is the effect it has on your heart.

One year after quitting smoking, your risk of heart disease drops to half of what it is for a smoker.

Five Years After Quitting Smoking

quit smoking brain
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

After five years, there are some hugely important health benefits that ex-smokers will see.

Your risk of stroke will drop to the same risk level as a non-smoker, and your risk of other cancers will greatly decrease as well, according to

10 Years After Quitting Smoking

quit smoking lung cancer
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

As you may know, lung cancer is one of the biggest health concerns for smokers.

Ten years after putting out your last cigarette, your lung cancer risk decreases by half.

According to, your risk of larynx and pancreatic cancers decrease as well.

15 Years After Quitting Smoking

quit smoking body
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Fifteen years after your last cigarette, your risk of heart disease, as well as your risk of death, are similar to a nonsmoker’s.

Over time, other benefits could include a decreased your risk of diabetes, increased life expectancy, and normal blood-vessel function.

If you’ve quit smoking, did you notice any of these changes?

Let us know in the comments, and if you love what you learned in this article, please SHARE it with your friends and family!