Yes, quitting smoking is very much worth the effort.
Within 20 minutes after you smoke that last cigarette, your body begins a series of positive changes that continue for years.
- Your blood pressure starts to go down.
- Your pulse rate drops (My resting pulse has dropped from 84 to 62 since I stopped).
- Your blood circulation begins to improve. This is actually one of the biggest quitting smoking benefits of all. Smoking constricts (makes smaller) your blood vessels and capillaries, which means your heart has to work harder to get blood and oxygen to those places in your body where it needs to go. When you stop smoking your veins and capillaries begin to relax and open up, which lowers the work load on your heart, which is why you'll experience a lower heart rate, lowered risk of heart attack, lower blood pressure, and higher energy level.
8 hours after your last cigarette:
- The carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal (the bad stuff is going away).
- The oxygen level in your blood increases to normal (the good stuff is increasing).
24 hours after your last cigarette:
- Your chance of having a heart attack begins to decrease (I've been told this is a big plus).
48 hours after your last cigarette:
- your damaged nerve endings begin to regrow - your ability to smell and taste begins to improve
The first and most noticeable quitting smoking benefit that I personally experienced was that my cigarette cough, which was terrible before I quit, was almost totally gone after three weeks. Three weeks! Amazing!
The worst nicotine withdrawal symptoms are gone after the first month.
2 Weeks to 3 Months After Quitting
- Your lung function begins to improve. - Circulation improves - Walking becomes easier
1 to 9 Months After Quitting
- Your coughing and shortness of breath decrease.
1 Year After Quitting
- Your added risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker's.
5 Years After Quitting
- Your stroke risk is reduced to that of a nonsmoker's 5-15 years after quitting.
10 Years After Quitting
- Your lung cancer death rate is about half that of a smoker's. - Your risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney, and pancreas decreases.
15 Years After Quitting
- Your risk of coronary heart disease is back to that of a nonsmoker's.