Most smokers have thought about quitting smoking. People quit smoking in their own way and two things stand out in the process: motivation and planning. With motivation and planning, you can begin your journey to a tobacco-free life.

Remember, it doesn’t matter if it is your first or your 15th attempt at quitting. Learn from each quit attempt. Take advantage of free resources to help you quit.

The Health Benefits of Quitting


Within 20 minutes:

  • Heart rate and blood pressure drop
  • Temperature of hands and feet goes up

Within 8 – 24 hours:

  • Carbon monoxide level in blood goes down
  • Oxygen level in blood normalizes
  • Chance of heart attack decreases

Within 48 – 72 hours:

  • Damaged nerve endings start to re-grow
  • Sense of smell and taste begin to improve
  • Nicotine will be out of the body in about 3 days 

2 weeks to 3 months:

  • Blood circulation gets better in the body
  • Lungs work better
  • Exercise gets easier
  • Wounds heal faster

1 to 9 months:

  • Coughing, shortness of breath, and sinus congestion decrease
  • Body’s overall energy level goes up
  • Tiny hairs in the lungs (cilia) start to work again by keeping lungs clean, which makes it easier to breathe and lowers the risk of getting sick

1 year:

  • Risk of heart disease is cut by half

2-5 years:

  • Risk of stroke goes down to the level of a non-smoker

5 years:

  • Risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus and bladder are cut in half
  • Cervical cancer risk falls to that of a non-smoker

10 years:

  • Lung cancer risk is cut in half
  • Risk of voice box (larynx) and pancreatic cancer goes down

15 years:

  • Risk of heart disease returns to the levels of a non-smoker

Resources

California Smokers’ Helpline 1-800-NO-BUTTS

Provides telephone counseling, test messaging, self-help materials, online help and referral to local programs, phone app (iPhones only)
https://www.nobutts.org/free-services-for-smokers-trying-to-quit

Smokefree.gov

Provides smokefree applications, texting programs, online chats with an expert, and building your quit plan.
https://smokefree.gov/tools-tips

Smoking Cessation Leadership Center

Online tobacco cessation information
https://smokingcessationleadership.ucsf.edu/ready-quit