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

By Bargain Lover
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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 Comment128 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

I myself smoked for 40 years so happily one day I prayed about and the desire to smoke was completely gone. It has now been 2 weeks and yes that is a big deal for someone that never stop smoking past a day since starting. There will be no more buying and smelling like smoke. My reason for stopping I want to live enough said!

December 15, 2014 - 3:31am
Susan Cody HERWriter Guide (reply to Anonymous)

Great post, Anon.

Two hours is a big deal for some so two weeks is amazing. 

Congrats and we're always here for support. 



December 15, 2014 - 5:10pm
EmpowHER Guest

I am 28 years old and started smoking 18 monthsback. I used to smoke 10 cigerates a day and its creating lot of problems in my health condition which i am feeling day by day. My health has completely changed , i feel and look like 35 yrs old within 18 months, and unable to quit., But after readings the blog , I decided to quit and gain my original life,
I made my mind to not to touch any more cigerates in my life.
i made my mind for this life - NO MORE PUFF.

November 26, 2014 - 3:19pm
Susan Cody HERWriter Guide (reply to Anonymous)

Good for you, Anon! 

Keep up the good work! 


November 26, 2014 - 4:14pm
EmpowHER Guest

I quit smoking 3 years ago after smoking for more than 40 years.
I did it with "determination".
You have to really want to quit before you can really quit! That simple.
No drug, no chemical can help unless you have "determination to quit", will help.

November 25, 2014 - 8:57pm
EmpowHER Guest

Smokers are like Frodo or Bilbo Baggins of the Lord of the Rings series. Once you have put on the ring you're corrupted for the lifetime it seems. You may quit for a day or a year or even ten years, there is always a probability of relapsing. Not to discourage anyone, but using patches and gums as substitutes has shown to cause equal harm in the long run. So, the best and most effective way to quit, it seems, is cold turkey. The reason most attempts at quitting smoking fail is cause people are waiting for something to happen and eventually get frustrated and fall right back in. The most important thing one needs to be in before quitting is right state of mind-frame. Just remember that no one is born smoker and all smoking did to you was make you miserable. Quit it and be a happy non-smoker ! Live well and good luck !!!

November 20, 2014 - 1:17am
EmpowHER Guest

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.


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


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


Chance of heart attack decreases.


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


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


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.


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


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.


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.


Risk of coronary heart disease is that of a nonsmoker.

October 18, 2014 - 11:08pm
EmpowHER Guest

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

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

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
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