Table 1 Health benefits of smoking cessations

From: Treating tobacco dependence: guidance for primary care on life-saving interventions. Position statement of the IPCRG

Time since quitting Beneficial health changes that take place
24 h Lungs start to clear out mucus and other smoking debris
48 h Carbon monoxide will be eliminated from the body. Ability to taste and smell is greatly improved
72 h Breathing becomes easier. Bronchial tubes begin to relax and energy levels increase
2–12 weeks Circulation improves
3–9 months Coughs, wheezing and breathing problems improve as lung function is increased by up to 10%
1 year Risk of a heart attack falls to about half that of a smoker
10 years Risk of lung cancer falls to half that of a smoker
15 years Risk of heart attack falls to the same as someone who has never smoked