Quit Smoking Timeline – Body Changes from 20 Min. to 20 Years

It's a great goal, but what happens to our body once we stop smoking.

I'll show you with this quit smoking timeline, you are going to learn how our body changes from as early as 20 minutes after we quit smoking, up to 20 years!

I personally don't smoke. I did a little in the past, but never enough to become addicted.

But I know some people that stopped smoking a few years ago, and I have a testimony of the benefits they see in person.

cigarettesThe benefits relate to breathing, taste, the risk of cancer and many other factors.

This quit smoking timeline will explain them step by step, from the first 20 minutes to 20 years.

Quit Smoking Timeline: A 20 Years Long Journey

The first benefits of quitting smoking can be already noticed as early as 20 minutes after you stopped.

But the real changes and improvements are going to show with time, when days go by, although to free the body from nicotine and all the toxins is going to take something like 9 months.

Instead, to considerably lower the risk of cancer is going to take up to 10 years.

We are going to analyze how the body changes, up to 20 years after the last cigarette.

After 20 Minutes

Quit smoking timeline - 20 minutes

It sounds too early to be true, but already after only 20 minutes something changes in our body.

Blood pressure stabilizes and improves, and heart rate decreases and returns to normal.

After 8 Hours

quit smoking timeline 8 hours

Psychologically it's a tough time, but the body is already benefiting from the choice.

The levels of carbon monoxide in the blood drop (in cigarettes there are high levels of nicotine, carbon monoxide and tar), oxygen levels return to normal while nicotine decreases of over 93%.

Isn't it crazy, after only 8 hours?

After 24 Hours

quit smoking timeline 24 hours

24 hours after the last cigarette is probably the time you may experience the worst symptoms of nicotine deficiency, like depression, irritability, frustration, anxiety.

But at least you can be assured that carbon monoxide levels return back to normal.

After 48 Hours

quit smoking timeline 48 hours

We are already 2 day into our quit smoking timeline, and we have already seen improvements and "side effects" due to nicotine deficiency.

Now things start to improve even more, especially with regard to the sense of taste and smell, which are recovered giving us some sensitivity that seemed lost.

After 72 Hours

quit smoking timeline 72 hours

At day 3 it is the breathing that mostly benefits from the choice to quit smoking, especially if under stress.

But on the other hand, the desire increases, and many people have reported symptoms similar to flu, insomnia, difficulty to rest, changes in appetite and dizziness.

Between 2 Weeks and 9 Months

quit smoking timeline 2 weeks 9 months

At this point of our quit smoking timeline, if you "survived" without cigarettes, there should be good news.

The negative side effects should be gone.

Blood circulation has improved, lungs work normally, no more "smoker cough" of nasal congestion, physical energy increases and walking or running becomes easier with less effort.

You shouldn't feel as tired as before when you do normal activities.

But especially, this is the time that your body is completely free from nicotine!

After 1 Year

Quit smoking timeline 1 year

Heart and arteries see the biggest improvements: the risk of coronary heart disease, myocardial infarction and stroke drop by 50%.

After 5 Years

Quit smoking timeline 5 years

The risk of cerebral hemorrhage drops by 41%, while the risk of stroke becomes equal to the levels of those who have never smoked.

For female ex-smokers, the risk of getting diabetes decreases to the level of women who have never smoked.

After 10 Years

Quit smoking timeline 10 years

Also for men, the danger of contracting diabetes goes down to the levels of non-smokers.

The best news are about the risks associated with cancer: risk of mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney, pancreas, lung cancer drops to 70%. Even the risk of ulcer decreases.

After 15 Years

Quit smoking timeline 15 years

Many factors return to normal, like people who have never smoked in life. In particular, loss of teeth, coronary heart disease, and the generic risk of early death.

After 20 Years

Quit smoking timeline 20 years

The danger of getting pancreatic cancer falls to the levels of non-smokers. For women, it has been shown that the risk of death from any cause related to cigarette smoking falls and becomes like that of non-smokers.

Smoke Free!

Quit smoking timeline smoke free

After 20 years of total absence of cigarettes from your habit, you are finally completely free from pathological consequences of smoking and the risk of disease is compared to that of those who never smoked in their life.


Well congratulations! If you can testify that this is true, thumbs up for you. You did something that very few people succeed at.

If you are a smoker I know, it's hard to quit, especially when you have that craving feeling.

You are probably thinking that 20 years from now is too far away and it's not worth it by now.

That's why I wrote this quit smoking timeline, to give you some motivation. Just remember that your body starts recovering already after 20 minutes from your last cigarette!

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1 Response

  1. aarnold71
    Very interesting and informative! This smoking timeline will give information and can persuade people to understand better what happens when you stop smoking.