What Happens to Your Body When You Quit Smoking?

20 Minutes

In less time than it takes to watch a sitcom, your body’s already getting better. After 20 minutes, your pulse and blood pressure start to drop back to normal. And your hands and feet warm up to their usual temperature.

8 Hours

By the end of a work day, you have half the amount of nicotine and carbon monoxide in your blood. Why does that matter? Carbon monoxide is a chemical in cigarettes, and it crowds out oxygen in your blood. That causes problems from your muscles to your brain because they don’t get the oxygen they need.

But as the chemical’s levels drop, your oxygen gets back to normal.

On the flip side, it’s likely you already feel some early cravings and doubts. That’s normal. But they usually last just 5-10 minutes. To get you through, try to find ways to distract yourself until the feeling passes. You could try making a craving playlist, chewing gum, or sipping water.

12 Hours

Halfway through your first day, your carbon monoxide level is back to normal. And your heart will thank you. Now it doesn’t have to pump so hard to try to get enough oxygen to your body.

24 Hours

If you smoke a pack a day, you’re twice as likely to have a heart attack as a nonsmoker. But go one full day without a cigarette, and you’ve lowered your chances. That’s huge.

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