Table 17.12-3. Benefits of smoking cessation

Time after quitting


20 min

Heart rate and blood pressure drop

12 h

Blood carbon monoxide level drops to normal

2 weeks to 3 months

Circulation improves and lung function increases

1-9 months

Coughing and shortness of breath decrease. Cilia start to regain normal function in the lungs

1 year

Excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a continuing smoker’s

5 years

Risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder is cut in half. Cervical cancer risk falls to that of a nonsmoker’s. Stroke risk can fall to that of a nonsmoker’s after 2-5 years

10 years

Risk of dying from lung cancer is about half that of a person who is still smoking. Risk of cancer of the larynx and pancreas decreases

15 years

Risk of coronary heart disease is that of a nonsmoker’s