The single best thing you can do for your health and your future is to quit. The moment you stop smoking your body begins to repair itself and your risk of developing a smoking-related illness begins to decrease.  You'll also save a heap of money. Find out just how much with our savings calculator.

It is never too late to benefit from quitting smoking. Quitting smoking has major health benefits at any age, even if you're already suffering from a smoking-related illness.

20 minutes after the last cigarette

  • Blood pressure and pulse rate begin to normalise
  • The body temperature of hands and feet increases to normal
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1 hour

  • Your resting heart rate begins to decrease

4 hours

  • Breath becomes fresher
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12 hours

  • Almost all of the nicotine is out of your system

24 hours

  • Risk of heart attack begins to decrease
  • The excess carbon monoxide in your blood has decreased
  • The oxygen level in blood increases, helping your circulation
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48 hours

  • Nerve endings start to regrow
  • Your sense of smell and taste begin to improve

1 week

  • Your lungs' natural cleaning system starts to heal and become better at removing mucus, tar and dust from your lungs
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1 month

  • Circulation continues to improve
  • Walking becomes easier
  • Your body is better at fighting off infections in cuts and wounds

3 months

  • Your blood is less thick and sticky, allowing blood flow to improve
  • The skin appearance begins to improve
  • Lung function continues to improve, making it easier to remove mucus, tar and dust
  • Tobacco stains on your fingers begin to fade
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9 months

  • Coughing, sinus congestion, and shortness of breath all decrease
  • Cilia regrow in the lungs, increasing the ability to 'clean lungs'
  • Your overall energy increases
  • Stress levels are lower than when you were smoking
  • Your immune system should be better at fighting off colds and flu

1 year

  • Your increased risk of coronary heart disease is halved (compared to someone who smokes)
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5 years

  • Stroke risk is reduced to that of a non-smoker 5-15 years after quitting

10 years

  • Increased risk of lung cancer can drop to half that of someone who continues to smoke
  • Risk of other cancers decreases,  including laryngeal, oral cavity, oesophageal, bladder, cervical and pancreatic cancer
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15 years

  • Risk of heart attack and stroke is similar to that of someone who doesn't smoke

Looking for other information?

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Quit Methods

There are so many different ways to quit, find the one that will work for you.

Learn more about quit methods

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Quit Apps

Free apps such as My QuitBuddy can be a fun and practical way to quit and stay smoke-free.

Learn more about quit apps

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Real Quitting Experiences

There are more ex-smokers today than there are smokers. Find out how they did it by reading their stories.

Read more quitting experiences

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Latest News

We publish blogs on many different tobacco-related topics, you're sure to learn something new.

Read more latest news

Free Quit Support

Talk to the Quitline

Quitline is a confidential advice and information service for people who want to quit smoking. For the cost of a local call (except mobile phones), a trained advisor can help you to plan and develop strategies to quit smoking and stay stopped. You can also use webchat during opening hours.

My QuitBuddy App

The My QuitBuddy App tracks your quitting progress, such as days smoke-free, cigarettes avoided, health gained and dollars saved.

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