What happens when you Quit Smoking


December 27, 2006   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

I have never shared this on Dumb Little Man and I thought it was about time I did. It’s not about me gloating, but more about providing support to those about to embark on the same mission.

This Saturday marks 2 months of smoke-free living for me. Yep, I was a pretty hard core smoker that went through two packs per day for the last 15 years. To put that into perspective, I smoked roughly 219,000 cigarettes over that time. I also had to quit drinking because having a cocktail without a cigarette was not going to happen.

This was probably my 8th attempt at quitting and make no mistake about it, it’s very difficult. It was actually one of the toughest things I’ve done in my life and I still struggle to this day. However, the family comes first and my smoking was hurting everyone (although I never smoked near the kids or even within their sight

The point of this message today is to share some information that helped me through the agony. It is a simple chart that I kept with me and even posted in my office.

  • 20 Minutes After Quitting
    • Your heart rate drops. 
  • 12 hours After Quitting
    • Carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal. 
  • 2 Weeks to 3 Months After Quitting
    • Your heart attack risk begins to drop.
    • Your lung function begins to improve. 
  • 1 to 9 Months After Quitting
    • Your Coughing and shortness of breath decrease. 
  • 1 Year After Quitting
    • Your added risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker’s. 
  • 5 Years After Quitting
    • Your stroke risk is reduced to that of a nonsmoker’s 5-15 years after quitting. 
  • 10 Years After Quitting
    • Your lung cancer death rate is about half that of a smoker’s.
    • Your risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney, and pancreas decreases. 
  • 15 Years After Quitting
    • Your risk of coronary heart disease is back to that of a nonsmoker’s. 

All in all, this time around was the simplest because I had a little help by using the laser therapy that I originally thought was a scheme. Trust me, it’s not. I don’t want to turn this into a commercial so if you want to know what this laser therapy is, email me. In the meantime, here are some resources that you can use regardless of your quitting method.

Sources: Various Sections from Mayo Clinic, CDC, Philip Morris

In case your efforts at quitting smoking fail, it is recommended that you try addiction recovery programs that might help you quit successfully.


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