Hide This

FREEHER HealthToolkit

HER Health Toolkit

Sign up for EmpowHER updates and you'll receive our
FREE HER Health Toolkit

Addictions

Get Email Updates

Addictions Guide

Alison Beaver

Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.

ASK

Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!

ask: How long does it take for your body to heal/recover after smoking cigarettes?

By Bargain Lover
 
Rate This

I quit smoking nearly 10 years ago after nearly 20 years of smoking almost a pack a day.

I read somewhere that it takes the body a very long time to "heal" itself after all that poison in the system which is a bit disappointing after all the work it takes to quit.

does anyone know if the body ever really recovers from a 20 year smoking habit? I was under 35 when I quit.

thank you

Add a Comment121 Comments

EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

Ever Wonder What Happens to Your
Body the Moment You Stop Smoking?

Within 20 minutes of smoking that last cigarette, the body begins a series of changes that continues for years.

20 MINUTES

Blood pressure drops to normal.Pulse rate drops to normal.Body temperature of hands and feet increases to normal.

8 HOURS

Carbon monoxide level in blood drops to normal.Oxygen level in blood increases to normal.

24 HOURS

Chance of heart attack decreases.

48 HOURS

Nerve endings start regrowing.Ability to smell and taste is enhanced.

2 WEEKS TO 3 MONTHS

Circulation improves.Walking becomes easier.Lung function increases up to 30%.

1 TO 9 MONTHS

Coughing, sinus congestion, fatigue, and shortness of breath decrease.Cilia regrow in lungs, increasing ability to handle mucus, clean the lungs, and reduce infection.Body's overall energy increases.

1 YEAR

Excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker.

5 YEARS

Lung cancer death rate for average smoker (one pack a day) decreases by almost half.Stroke risk is reduced to that of a nonsmoker 5-15 years after quitting.Risk of cancer of the mouth, throat and esophagus is half that of a smoker's.

10 YEARS

Lung cancer death rate similar to that of nonsmokers.Precancerous cells are replaced.Risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney and pancreas decreases.

15 YEARS

Risk of coronary heart disease is that of a nonsmoker.

October 18, 2014 - 11:08pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

I stopped smoking 19 days ago. I smoked a pack and a half a day for 35 years. I am a 47 year old woman. I've been researching metabolic recovery after quitting and, sadly, from what I understand, there is no recovery. Nicotine speeds the metabolism. No nicotine causes the metabolism to operate as it would for a normal person. I planned ahead for my quit. I went to the doc and got some Weelebutrin, which I started a month before my quit date. I am on the patch. I also knew that if I didn't change my eating and exercising behavior, I would simply use food as my reward instead of cigarettes. I started doing research into losing weight over 40, and have been eating high protein, veg, and fruit, hard cheese, nuts, protein shakes, and cottage cheese. I quit sugar mostly except in my a.m. Coffee and I stopped eating any and all processed food. I also started lifting weights...heavy weights. I've learned that the only way to lose weight over 40 is to build muscle mass because it is your body's muscle that runs your metabolism. There is a ton of info about this on the web. Anyhow, long story short, the combination of things I'm doing is working really well. I have no food/sugar cravings which is huge for me. I haven't lost any weight but I haven't gained either, even though I've already lost 2 inches off my waist. This tells me that I'm adding muscle and losing fat. The best part is that heavy weight workouts are short and I'm no longer doing hours and hours of cardio with zero results. Plus, I'm smoke free! If you knew me, you would say it is a complete miracle. I always said I'd smoke till I die. I wish you all the best of luck! Stay strong and treat your body like the temple it is! Martha

October 18, 2014 - 11:21am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

I haven't see I answer to what you asked. Lol do you? The funny thing here is you got alot of war stories buy no potato. I want to know to know to!

October 13, 2014 - 3:12pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

This is 21st day I stopped chewing tobacco, I swore to gods/children/wife so many times to stop this, but could stop for more than 6-7days,
I stated smoking at the age of 15, then for some time I hopped between chewing and smoking, I felt so disgusting every time I put the tobacco in mouth,
And the craving was so intense that many a times in midnight 2-3am I was going in search of tobacco usually the bus station of Bangalore,
I tried nicotine gum and it is really working, now I am 42 and now I think,.. why I did not try this before, I am feeling more confident and more lively.
I am going to slow down Nicotine tablets, start walking, and hope I will come out of this.

September 26, 2014 - 2:19am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

I had quit smoking in 2009 and almost after 4 years again i started smoking. It was 31st Dec 2013 when i smoked again unknowingly that it will be continued.
I can easily say how much better i felt when i had quit. It was a healthy living with more confidence, more energy & more happiness.
I am trying to go back to my good days again and have quit smoking again almost a week back. Started feeling better again and this is the last time i am quitting smoking. No more cigarettes in this life....
Lets live a healthy life, friends.
Suman Mudi

September 24, 2014 - 1:16am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

I had quit smoking in 2009 and almost after 4 years again i started smoking. It was 31st Dec 2013 when i smoked again unknowingly that it will be continued.
I can easily say how much better i felt when i had quit. It was a healthy living with more confidence, more energy & more happiness.
I am trying to go back to my good days again and have quit smoking again almost a week back. Started feeling better again and this is the last time i am quitting smoking. No more cigarettes in this life....
Lets live a healthy life, friends.
Suman Mudi

September 24, 2014 - 1:16am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

it is great to read about so many people who had stop smoking in so many ways . i feel the joy in their success
as for me ......i started smoking at 11 years of age and stop smoking at 50 years of age.i smoke about 1.5 pack a day ( 30 cig per day)

what lead me to stop smoking is due to a major blockage in my right coronary artery.there was two blockage in that artery.
so after the bellowing procedure ...i stop smoking . it has been 5 years now. But the affect of long term smoking has taken its affect on the lung. currently i have severe asma affect and i will get the attack in the morning, when people cook/fry spices food , cold wheather or climb high altitude i get acute mountain sickness

September 20, 2014 - 9:42pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

I've smoked for about 8-9 years in total. And from that 7 yrs in a row as a heavy smoker. I'm 25 now. Yes, I am. The first cigarette I tried was when I was 6. My aunt used to smoke so I took one to try.
And after that when I turned 11 I started smoking one or two a day.
When I turned 14 a pack and then at the age of 17 I was between 2 and 3 packs a day.
No lies guys.
I
I swore I'll quit and and also making promises but nothing.
I don't know how I quit but that was just cold turkey.
I'm 4 yrs smoke free. No urges, not a single desire to go have one.

The way I quit is kinda weird because I quit since I came to Canada in 2010. I stayed at home and just exercising and also walking around the neighborhood.
I guess I felt kind of sick of it in the end.
I smoked so much that sometimes I was disgusted by the taste but still I kept smoking.

So to all of the people who are trying to quit smoking I say
Just do it. No promises. Just do it.
Think about the future.
Many people like me felt peace in smoking because of the stress or other things. But now that I think of that time I am happy that I quit.
Oh by the way, I have more wrinkles in my face than my mother does.
Think about it.

I thought of it and I'm taking care of myself now

Good luck to all of you guys.

August 29, 2014 - 8:19am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

I'm 43 years old and have been smoking since I was 12. About a pack a day. I haven't had a cig for 12 hours. I'm taking chantix and it is really helping. I let you know how it go's. If

July 31, 2014 - 9:27pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

My decision to quit smoking was based on my decision not to. That was it. I gave myself an opportunity to change the decision each day. After a while, the yearning was gone. Can't say I didn't have withdrawal and since I'd smoked for almost 35 years-sure I did. However, my only memory is the daily question. "You can get cigarettes today if you want to, it's your decision, yes or not". I felt proud of myself each day I said "no, not today." That was over 10 years ago. No urge at all to go back--as a matter of fact--just the opposite.

May 28, 2014 - 9:17am
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy

All user-generated information on this site is the opinion of its author only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical conditions. Members and guests are responsible for their own posts and the potential consequences of those posts detailed in our Terms of Service.

Improved

1770 Health

Changed

673 Lives

Saved

533 Lives
4 lives impacted in the last 24 hrs Learn More

Take Our Featured Health Poll

Do you smoke? :
View Results