Your body starts to heal when you stop smoking. This repair work will help to reduce your risk of serious health problems.
Your heart rate and blood pressure slow down and you begin to experience better circulation. Your lungs improve as the tiny hairs in your bronchial tubes called cilia start to grow back and move more efficiently.
- Your Lungs
Your lungs are one of your most vital organs, helping to carry oxygen throughout your body. Without them, you would be more susceptible to serious illness or even death.
But they can also be damaged by smoking. Smoking can cause damage to the tiny air sacs called “alveoli” that take oxygen from the air you inhale and then release carbon dioxide when your exhale. Emphysema is a condition that occurs when too many of these alveoli die.
Symptoms of emphysema include shortness of breath and coughing up mucus. If left untreated emphysema could lead to chronic obstruction pulmonary disease (COPD), a condition that kills more Americans every year than lung cancer.
Your lungs will begin to heal as soon as you stop smoking. After eight hours, the level of carbon monoxide begins to decrease in your blood. Your oxygen levels then return to normal.
The blood levels of nicotine are reduced to negligible levels at this point and nerve endings that were previously damaged begin to grow back. This allows your senses of taste and smell to improve significantly.
You will notice a decrease in your heart rate and blood circulation to your feet and hands. You may also notice a decrease in stress levels, and less tendency to cough up excess mucus.
You may also notice a more normal breathing pattern, which can help alleviate COPD symptoms. You will be able do more of your favorite activities like exercise and going up stairs with less discomfort.
Your lungs will begin to heal within three months of quitting. Tiny hairs in your lungs called cilia will begin to grow back, which helps to sweep out mucus and other waste that builds up in your lungs. It can also help protect against bacterial infections.
- Your Heart
Your heart will experience some major benefits once you stop smoking. This is because nicotine in cigarettes can increase blood pressure, making it more likely that you will have a stroke or heart attack.
Within 20 minutes of quitting, your body will begin to normalize blood pressure and circulation. This helps reduce your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
In addition, your blood oxygen levels increase and the carbon monoxide in your blood drops to normal levels. This allows your heart, and other organs, to receive more oxygen which improves their function.
Your cilia, tiny hairs located in your lungs that help clear mucus from the bronchial tubes, begin to move again. As your lungs become healthier, you’ll find that you can breathe easier and that your immune system is stronger.
You will also notice a greater energy level than when you were a smoker. Although you may feel hungry, this is normal.
Your sense of taste, smell and smell will improve. You’ll be able enjoy food without having to smoke it. You’ll also be able to exercise more and feel more fit than you would have been while smoking.
Your risk of developing lung carcinoma will decrease if you stop smoking. This is because precancerous cells are replaced by new, healthier ones.
Your risk of dying from lung cancer is half as low as if you quit smoking. Your risk of developing heart disease and stroke is also reduced, with a drop of up to 50%.
- Your Immune System
Your immune system protects you against diseases and is a vital part of your body. It is also responsible for maintaining good health and energy levels. Your immune system will improve if you stop smoking.
Smoking is a serious habit which can lead to a decrease in your immune system and make you more susceptible to infections and diseases. These include pulmonary diseases such as pneumonia, bronchitis, and emphysema. It can also lead autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus.
Tobacco smoke contains 7,000 chemicals. These chemicals can weaken your immune system, and cause you to become less able to fight disease. Nicotine, tar and other toxins in tobacco destroy antibodies that normally protect your body from disease. The chemical compounds in tar can also stain your lungs, making them more susceptible to infection.
You can also quit smoking to lower your risk of developing autoimmune disease. These are conditions where your immune system attacks its own tissues. These diseases can be caused by smoking, which has been linked to Crohn’s Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and inflammatory Bowel Disease, among others.
When you stop smoking, your white blood cells will begin to grow back and improve your immune system’s defenses. You will also have a better circulation system, with your blood flowing more smoothly and allowing more oxygen to reach wounds. You will also notice a difference in energy levels. This is due to a healthier heart and increased circulation.
- Your Skin
Although it may seem counterintuitive to say, quitting smoking can actually improve your skin’s appearance and health. Not only does smoking negatively impact your body’s health, but it also accelerates wrinkles and skin sagging.
Smoking can cause your body to release toxins that deprive your skin and organs of essential nutrients. This is why smokers often develop a dry, flaky complexion and dull, grey or yellow skin tone.
Additionally, smoking can cause skin to lose collagen and elastin which are essential for keeping it plump and firm. When nicotine enters your system, it promotes apoptosis in these cells, damages your skin’s blood vessels, and alters your immune response.
Smoking can also cause lines and wrinkles, especially around the mouth, which is known as “smoker’s pucker”. This is due to the repetitive motion of licking your lips after inhaling every smoke.
Your skin will look younger and brighter when you stop smoking. You will see improvements in your skin’s color within a short time.
Many former smokers swear that they have made the switch to a healthier lifestyle and look years younger after they quit smoking! This is because smoking can accelerate aging by depriving the skin its essential vitamins, antioxidants, and this can lead to premature aging. These vitamins and nutrients can take up to six months to one year to return to their original levels. However, once they do, your skin will start to heal itself. To accelerate the healing process, nourish your skin with revitalizing vitamins and increase circulation.
- Your Teeth
Stains caused by nicotine and tar in cigarette smoking can cause gum disease. Brushing several times a day helps prevent the stains from penetrating deep into the tooth.
Dry mouth can also be caused by smoking, making it more difficult to fight bacteria that causes bad breath and cavities. It is crucial to keep your mouth clean, even if you don’t smoke.
Smokers also experience smoker’s melanosis. This is a discoloration in the tissue of their mouths. Although it is not dangerous, it should disappear within 36-months. However, it can make your teeth look darker than normal.
Smoking can help your gums and teeth heal. It will take some time for the results to show.
Smoking cessation improves blood circulation, which allows your body to fight infections and inflammation better. This should also reduce bleeding.
You should also be able to chew again and speak clearly. Many people find that they have more energy when they quit, which is great for their overall health.
It is best to see your dentist if you have any dental concerns while you smoke. This will ensure that you get your dental problems treated before they become worse.
Quitting smoking can improve your oral health and reduce the risk of developing certain cancers such as mouth, throat, and lung cancers. Smokers are at greater risk than non-smokers for developing oral cancers, but quitting smoking will significantly reduce the likelihood of this happening.