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When you quit smoking, what happens to your body? 

Within the first few hours when you quit smoking, the organs gradually return to their optimal functions. Here is what happens in our body when we give up smoking.

The benefits of quitting smoking occur very quickly after you’ve stubbed out your last cigarette, no matter how much you smoke.

20 minutes later

About 20 minutes after the last cigarette, heart rate and blood pressure return to normal. “Nicotine consumption increases heart rate and blood pressure, because the arteries harden, explains an addictologist. This significantly increases the risk of heart attack…”

The specialist also points out that one homemade cigarette (rolled) is equivalent to two industrial cigarettes (in packets), that one cigarillo is equivalent to three normal cigarettes, and that one cigar represents 40 cigarettes.

8 hours after

“After 8 hours, the body begins to eliminate nicotine and carbon monoxide,” continues the tobacco specialist. Carbon monoxide is a toxic gas found in car exhausts. “This gas binds to red blood cells instead of oxygen, resulting in dull skin, delayed healing, and decreased muscle performance.” “Crabbers” (who don’t inhale smoke into their lungs) take in less carbon monoxide than those who draw heavily on their cigarettes.

24 to 72 hours after

Photo by Pawel Czerwinski on Unsplash

The lungs regain some breath. They begin to evacuate the mucus and smoke residues. Note that “48 hours after quitting, the risk of heart attack begins to decrease,” says the addictologist. Once the chemicals are eliminated, the senses are revived: taste and smell are back in service. Goodbye tar that was deposited in the lungs!

2 to 12 weeks after

From the first week, sleep is better. After a few weeks, quitting smoking will have significant benefits on breathing. The bronchial tubes become less clogged. Coughing and fatigue will gradually diminish. The website of the anti-smoking center also notes that at this stage of withdrawal, the ex-smoker gradually regains “sexual vigor”.

3 to 9 months after

“Chemicals cause a decrease in immunity,” says the tobacco specialist. Over the months following the cessation of smoking, the body’s immunity is strengthened. The body is less sensitive to external aggressions and less prone to inflammation. As for the lungs, the bronchial cilia evacuate mucus from the bronchial tubes better, and the lungs’ cleaning capacity increases. The risks of infection decrease considerably.

1 year later and more

It takes at least a year before the risk of disease from smoking begins to recede. The risk of having a heart attack is cut in half. “After five years, the risk of heart attack is equal to that of a person who has never smoked,” the doctor estimates.

It is only between ten and twenty years after the last cigarette that an ex-smoker regains a life expectancy equivalent to a person who has never smoked.

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