We all know what havoc smoking wreaks on the body. Move along please, nothing new to see there.
But did you also know what quitting smoking does to your body?
The prospect of ditching the fags can be overwhelming, especially as short term changes and improvement to health are hard to detect at first.
So this step-by-step guide to how your body reacts to giving up - showing just how fast it can make a difference - is an amazing motivational tool.
To summarise, here's what happens to your body after you quit...
*This can vary based on average number of cigarettes you smoke
- Heart rate and blood pressure return to normal (epinephrine and norepinephrine from the nicotine increase heart rate and narrow blood vessels)
- Cold feeling in extremities caused by nicotine returns to normal
- Nicotine cravings begin, causing moodiness, drowsiness and difficulty sleeping
- This is due to decrease in dopamine which is released by nicotine
- Oxygen in the bloodstream returns to normal, after inhaled carbon monoxide clears
- Coughing increases as the body clears toxins from the lungs
- Risk of developing coronary artery diseases decreases
- Nicotine and its metabolites are completely eliminated from the body
- Damaged nerve endings begin to regrow
- Taste buds that were damaged by tar and chemicals begin to regain their sensitivity (food tastes better)
- Nicotine withdrawal peaks, causing headaches, nausea, cramps and anxiety or depression
- Risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular diseases has decreased
Three - nine months:
- Damaged hair-like structures in the lung which sweep away dust are repaired
- Symptoms like coughing and shortness of breath are almost eliminated
- Risk of developing heart disease as a result of deposits of fatty materials or scar tissue decreases by almost 50 per cent
- Chance of developing lung cancer decreases by 50 per cent compared to if you hadn't quit
And after 15 years...
The risk of heart attack returns to the rate of someone who has never smoked in their life.