It is never too late to quit smoking. No matter how much you smoke or for how long, quitting will benefit you. Quitting smoking can lower your risk of heart disease, various cancers, stroke, vision loss, and many other complications.
After quitting smoking, your body begins to improve itself just after days and will continue to do so as long as you have stopped.
Benefits of Smoking Cessation Over Time
|20 minutes after quitting||Your heart rate and blood pressure drop|
|A few days after quitting||The carbon monoxide levels in your blood drop to normal|
|2 weeks to 3 months after quitting||Your circulation improves and your lung function increases|
|1 to 12 months after quitting||Coughing and shortness of breath decrease. The cilia in your lungs meant to remove mucous from your lungs start to regain normal function, increasing their ability to clean the lungs and reduce the risk of infection.|
|1-2 years after quitting||Your risk of heart attack drops dramatically|
|5-10 years after quitting||Your risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, and voice box is cut in half. Your stroke risk decreases.|
|10 years after quitting||Your risk of lung cancer is about half that of a person who is still smoking (after 10-15 years). Your risk of cancer of the bladder, esophagus, and kidney decreases.|
|15 years after quitting||Your risk of coronary heart disease is close to that of a non-smoker.|
Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)
These products help you quit smoking by gradually providing the body with smaller doses of nicotine over time, without exposing you to toxic chemicals found in cigarette smoke. Together with a behavioral program, NRTs have been found to increase the success of smoking cessation and are available over the counter as well as by prescription.
OTC Smoking Cessation Options
- Skin Patches
- Nicotine Chewing Gum (read instructions before use. Chewing is different than regular gum)
RX Smoking Cessation Options
- Varenicline Tartrate
- Bupropion Hydrochloride
It is never too late to quit! Talk to a healthcare provider to determine your best course of treatment and before obtaining any NRTs to ensure you are getting the proper strength for you. If you need additional support here are some resources to help you start the conversation.
- Telephone: 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669)
- Text message: Text QUITNOW to 333888
- Smartphone app: quitSTARTapp – provides tips and information to help you quit.