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Physical changes after smoking cessation

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Physical Changes After Smoking Cessation Facts

Within 20 minutes of last cigarette:
blood pressure drops to normal, pulse rate drops to normal
body temperature of hands and feet return to normal

Within 8 hours:
carbon monoxide level in blood drops to normal

After 24 hours:
sense of taste and smell improves

After 72 hours:
bronchial tubes relax, making breathing easier, lung capacity increases

After 2 weeks to 3 months:
circulation improves, walking becomes easier
lung function increases up to 30%

After 1 to 9 months:
coughing, sinus congestion, fatigue, shortness of breath decrease
cilia regrow in lungs, increasing ability to handle mucus, clean lungs, reduce infection
pregnant women who quit before the fourth month of pregnancy eliminate risk of still-birth and low birthweight caused by smoking
body's overall energy level increases

After 2 to 5 years:
risk of coronary heart disease is significantly reduced
sharp decline in risk of developing mouth cancer
risk of bladder cancer decreases

After 5 years:
lung cancer death rate for average smoker (one pack per day) decreases from 137 per 100,000 people to 72 per 100,000.

After 10 years:
lung cancer death rate decreases to 12 deaths per 100,000 almost the rate of nonsmokers
risk for developing larynx cancer approaches that of a never-smoker

Source: Cancer Information Services (CIS) "Smoking and Health Fact Sheet", Karmanos Cancer Institute, 1994. Lynch and Bonnie, eds., Growing Up Tobacco Free: Preventing Nicotine Addiction in Children and Youths, published by the National Academy Press, Institute of Medicine, 1994.

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