Quitting smoking is one of the best decisions you can make for your personal health. Both your physical and mental health will flourish without thousands of toxic chemicals running through your veins. You’ll find you have more energy, a more lively look to your skin, you can breathe better, and so much more. Smoking is a habit that will slowly rot your body from the inside out, and the sooner you quit, the better.
But how long does it take the body to heal the extensive damage caused by cigarettes? Surely something so damaging can never fully heal?
The body has a truly remarkable ability to heal itself, even from horrible injuries and toxic habits like smoking cigarettes. Let’s take a closer look at the timeline of the body’s healing after you’ve smoked your last cigarette.
You’ve put your last cigarette out just an hour ago. Since then, your body has begun the extensive healing process, assuming that you’re not going to pick up another cigarette. Your blood pressure will likely drop, and your circulation may improve because of it. Cigarettes actually thicken the blood and constrict blood vessels, two components that can cause extensive cardiac and blood vessel damage. This is why heart attack, stroke, and heart disease are caused by smoking.
With better blood flow, you’ll likely have more energy, too.
After about 12-15 hours, the body is finally starting to understand that cigarette smoke is no longer coursing through it. You’ll definitely start feeling the pull of nicotine addiction after twelve hours. You’ll likely have some very unpleasant symptoms during the next few weeks, but know this is just your body relieving itself of harmful addiction. If you find that quitting cold turkey is too much, try tobacco alternatives like Black Buffalo. They contain no tobacco but are still made with pharmaceutical-grade nicotine.
The next morning, your blood pressure has dropped even further, approaching normal levels. Your lungs are starting to process oxygen much easier as they start to heal from the damage. The alveoli are beginning to heal themselves, and with better blood flow, your oxygen delivery system is performing better than it has since you started smoking all those years ago.
You didn’t think smoking only damaged the lungs and heart, did you? Smoking damages nerves, skin cells, blood vessels, and so many more bodily systems. After just a few days, you might notice some significant changes. For example, when you smoke, your olfactory nerves and the nerves in your tongue can be damaged, which affects taste and smell. After a few days of not smoking, you’ll notice you can taste things again. Smells hit in a different way. It’ll feel like sticking your head out of a shallow grave and finally breathing fresh air again.
Your body’s healing is in full swing now. White blood cells are working hard to purge the remnants of your smoking habit from the body and return organs and cells to normal. While your body can’t always fix everything, most smokers heal (almost) completely given enough time. That’s assuming they didn’t develop cancer or some other terminal disease.
After about three days to a week, your nicotine addiction withdrawal is in full swing. During this time, you’ll want a cigarette the most. Try using the tobacco alternatives we mentioned earlier, or use the best CBD gummies, like those from Verma Farms, to help curb the addiction and manage the anxiety that comes with it.
It’s been thirty days since your last cigarette. Every now and then, you have a slight itch to smoke, but overall, your withdrawal has ceased. Your body is working hard to repair your damaged lungs, but it’s already made significant progress. You’re not coughing up a lung every time you walk across a room, you have less mucus and discharge, and the air smells and feels better moving through your respiratory system.
Your blood pressure has largely returned to normal, provided you’re staying active and haven’t replaced your smoking habit with poor eating habits/a sedentary lifestyle.
Many smokers’ lungs heal almost completely within 1-3 years after quitting. Every year you go without smoking, your risk for developing coronary artery disease/heart disease drops. After about five years, your risk has dropped by about half. The toxins that once ran through your bloodstream on a daily basis are largely dissipated, and since you haven’t smoked at all, your blood vessels have widened again. Oxygen-rich blood is flowing freely through your body, providing oxygen to all of your cells, tissues, and organs.
After ten years of not smoking, your risk for heart disease, cancer, and other major ailments has dropped significantly. It’s almost impossible to tell that you were once a smoker. Even your skin looks healthier! The bottom line? The sooner you quit smoking, the better. The more years you put between you and your smoking habit, the less likely you are to cut your life short because of smoking.