How long will it take to recover from smoking?



How long will it take to recover from smoking?




While smoking can do great damage to the human body, recovery is more than possible. The following list charts the recovering from smoking from 20 minutes after stopping, all the way to 20 years.



20 Minutes

Blood pressure, pulse rate and temperature of your hands and feet will have returned to normal.


8 Hours

The remaining nicotine in your bloodstream has fallen to 6.25% of normal peak daily levels, that's a 93.75% reduction.


12 Hours

Your blood oxygen level has increased to normal, carbon monoxide levels have dropped to normal too.


24 Hours

Anxieties have peaked in intensity although within two weeks these should return to pre-quitting levels.


48 Hours

Damaged nerve endings have begun to regrow and your sense of smell and taste are returning to normal.


72 Hours

Your entire body will now be 100% nicotine-free and 90% of the nicotine metabolites will now have passed from your body via urine. Symptoms of chemical withdrawal have peaked in intensity, including restlessness.


5 to 8 Days

The average exsmoker will encounter an average of three crave episodes per day. It is unlikely that any single episode will last longer than 3 minutes and should get shorter as time goes by.


10 Days

The average ex-user is down to less than two crave episodes per day, each less than 3 minutes.


10 Days to 2 Weeks

Recovery has likely progressed to the point where your addiction is no longer doing the talking. Blood circulation in your gums and teeth are now similar to that of a non-user.


2 to 4 Weeks

Quitting related anger, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, impatience, insomnia, reletnessness and depression should have ended.


2 Weeks to 3 Months

Your risk of a heart attack has started to drop, your lung function is beginning to improve.


21 Days

Receptor binding has returned to levels seen in the brain of non-smokers.


3 Weeks to 3 Months

Your circulation has substantially improved and walking has become easier. Any chronic cough has likely disappeared. If any cough continues, see a doctor.


8 Weeks

Insulin resistance in ex-smokers will have normalized despite an average weight gain of 2.7kg.


1 to 9 Months

Any smoking related sinus congestion, fatigue or shortness of breath has decreased. Cilia have regrown in your lungs, increasing their ability to handle mucus. Your body's overall energy has also increased.


1 Year

Your risk of coronary heart disease, heart attack and stroke has dropped to less than half that of someone who still smokes.


5 Years

Risk of a subarachanoid hemorrhage has declined to 59% of your risk while still smoking. For female ex-smokers, your risk of developing diabetes is now that of a non-smoker.


5 to 15 Years

Your risk of stroke has declined to that of a non-smoker.


10 Years

Your risk of being diagnosed with lung cancer is between 30% and 50% of that for a continuing smoker. Risk of death from lung cancer has declined by almost half if you were an average smoker. Risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus and pancreas have declined. Risk of developing diabetes for both men and women is now similar to that of a never-smoker.


13 Years

The average smoker who is able to live to the age of 75 has 5.8 fewer teeth than a non-smoker. By 13 years after quitting your risk of smoking induced tooth loss has declined to that of a never-smoker.


15 Years

Your risk of coronary heart disease is now that of a person who has never smoked. Your risk of pancreatic cancer has declined to that of a never-smoker.


20 Years

Female excess risk of death from all smoking related causes, including lung disease and cancer has now reduced to that of a never-smoker. Risk of pancreatic cancer has declined to that of a never-smoker.


If you need professional advice on giving up smoking, visit the NHS Smokefree website here Content provided by the