Family Health

5 Body Changes to Look Forward to When You Quit Smoking

Nov 18 • 2016

Did you know tobacco use kills almost six million people every year? More than 50% of people who use tobacco die from its effects. If you want to quit smoking, now is the time to start. And for those who do, there are several positive changes you will have to look forward to. In honor of the Great American Smokeout, we’ve highlighted five major ways your body changes for the better when you quit smoking.

There are Some Changes You Will Notice Immediately

Many people don’t realize that quitting smoking has an immediate impact on your body. Within just 20 minutes of cutting out tobacco use, your heart rate will begin to fall to a normal level. After two hours, your blood pressure will also fall closer to normal levels and your circulation will begin improving. Twelve hours after your last cigarette, the level of carbon monoxide in your body decreases, allowing the amount of oxygen in your blood to increase.

Your Senses Will Become Stronger

After 48 hours without smoking, you’ll notice an improvement in your senses. This includes an increased ability to taste and a better sense of smell. This is because your nerve endings will have begun to grow back. The longer you go without tobacco, the more you’ll be able to enjoy the tastes and smells you encounter.

Physical Activity Will Become Easier

For many smokers, exercise is difficult because they cannot perform much physical activity without feeling winded. Once you quit, you’ll be able to exercise without constantly feeling out of breath. This typically occurs within three weeks – once your body has had time to regenerate and your heart function and circulation have greatly improved. Because your lungs have had time to clear out, you’ll find it much easier to breathe.

Your Oral Health Will Improve

We all know that smoking yellows your teeth, so quitting can help with the aesthetics, but it also impacts your overall oral health. The average smoker has almost six fewer teeth than a non-smoker. Quitting allows the blood circulation in your gums and teeth to return to normal.

Your Overall Heart Health Will Increase

Smokers have a much higher risk of coronary artery disease than nonsmokers. Twenty-four hours after quitting, your risk for this will begin to decline, as well as your risk of having a heart attack. Once you’ve hit one year without tobacco use, your risk for heart disease, heart attack, and stroke will become 50% lower than that of a smoker.

If you want to quit smoking but are struggling to do so without support, speak with your doctor for personalized tips on what you can do to remove tobacco from your life.