Every smoker knows that smoking is harmful to their health, but that is a fact that has been passed on for decades. However, few smokers who decide to kick the habit are aware of what happens to their body immediately after they quit smoking. It is important to understand how the body reacts when you stop smoking so that you can be prepared to also adjust your lifestyle accordingly.
The First Hour
Within just 20 minutes your pulse rate, your hands and feet temperature and blood pressure will return to normal.
After 2 to 3 Hours
If you decide to quit ‘cold turkey’ within the 2nd to 3rd hour of your last smoke your body might go into nicotine withdrawal. Nicotine withdrawal progressively gets worse as the days go by, and this is why it would be a better decision to use smoking-cessation aids to help you transition out of smoking.
8 to 12 Hours Later
At this point, the carbon monoxide and nicotine remaining in your blood stream will drop by half and the oxygen levels will rise to healthy levels.
At this point the carbon monoxide levels in your body will drop to normal levels. Smoking debris and mucus will be cleared from the body and the result is increased oxygen levels reaching the body’s cells much faster. However, it is at this point that anxiety peaks but it should return almost to pre-cessation level after about 2 weeks.
After 3 Days
The body will be at almost 100% nicotine-free state. Nicotine metabolies, which is the chemical that nicotine breaks into, will also have been cleared from the body via urine. Restlessness will be experienced during this time as a result of chemical withdrawal. The body benefits from more positive effects of quitting at this time including ease of breathing and the lungs functionality also increases.
5 to 14 Days Later
An average quitter will begin to experience about three crave episodes daily. These episodes last for about 3 minutes and it is important to have a clock nearby to time them. However, from the 10th day towards the 14th day mark the crave episodes will reduce and as well as the duration they last.
2 Weeks to 1 Month
Symptoms of cessation such as anger, impatience, insomnia, anxiety, difficulty in concentrating and depression will have dissipated. It is important to see a physician if you are still experiencing any of these symptoms at this stage.
3 Weeks to 3 Months
The Brian acetylcholine receptor count in the brain arte down-regulated and receptor bindings normalize. What this means is that your brain functions will resemble that of a non-smoker. During this time the risk of heart attack also drops and lung functions continue to improve.
1 year to 5 Years
After about a year and progressively as the years go by the chances of acquiring long-term smoking related diseases decrease.