Benefits of Giving Up Smoking


The health benefits of giving up smoking

Giving up smoking will help avoid most of the risks of developing cancer, even in middle age. Giving up smoking before middle age can prevent 90 per cent of the health risks associated with smoking. These benefits apply to giving up cigarettes, cigars, pipe and chewing tobacco.


When giving up, your body will go through several changes:


Time stopped         Benefits

20 minutes               Blood pressure and pulse rate return to normal. Circulation improves, especially to hand and feet.

8 hours                      Blood oxygen levels increase to normal and your chances of having a heart attack start to fall.

24 hours                    Carbon monoxide leaves the body. The lungs start to clear out mucus and debris

 48 hours                   Your body is now nicotine-free. Your sense of taste and smell begin to improve.

72 hours                    Breathing is easier, and your energy levels increase

2-12 weeks               Circulation improves throughout the body. Walking and exercising is getting easier.

 3-9 months              Breathing problems, coughing, shortness of breath and wheezing improve. Lung efficiency increases by 5-10 per cent.

 5 years                      Risk of having a heart attack falls to about half that of a smoker.

 10 years                    Risk of lung cancer falls to around half that of a smoker. Risk of a heart attack falls to about the same as someone who has never smoked.

 Source: Department of Health, 2005, Giving up for life


Most smokers giving up will experience some temporary withdrawal symptoms. These are a result of the body ridding itself of toxins.

Withdrawal symptoms can include:


  • irritability
  • cravings
  • headaches
  • sleep disturbance
  • constipation
  • feeling of loss/ deprivation/ grief
  • light headedness
  • poor concentration
  • hunger
  • aches and pains
  • pins and needles
  • mouth ulcers
  • warmer skin due to improved circulation
  • coughs.

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The Have I Got A Problem website is a free online resource to help people better understand any issues or concerns they may have about mental health or addiction. The website includes resources specifically focused to; general Mental Health, Depression, Stress, Anxiety, Insecurities, Self-harm Schizophrenia, Bipolar, Anger Management, Eating Disorders, Coping, general Addiction, Alcohol, Smoking, Gambling, Drugs, Cocaine, Heroin, Marijuana (Cannabis) Ecstasy, PCP, Mephedrone, Ketamine & Crystal Meth.

The site was created to give the public information to help them understand mental health and addiction issues and to assist people in making better informed decisions about their life and personal choices. was created and is run by 'Advising Communities’, which is a UK registered charity (Charity No. 1061055)


"When you look at the smokers, don’t envy them."


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