What Happens 20 Minutes After You Quit Smoking: A Timeline Of How Your Body Heals


By Lindsay Sibson 

I’m writing this for my mom.

And my dad.

My brother. My sister.

And my best friend.

I’m writing this for YOU. And your loved ones.

I’ve watched many people near and dear to me struggle with tobacco addiction for as long as I can remember.

When you are a smoker, it is programmed deep into your conscience. Therefore, stopping the addiction requires a strong support system and plan in order to get your brain rewired.

When you make the decision to quit, here is a basic timeline of how your body heals:

20 Minutes           

  • Your heart rate returns to normal.
  • Your blood pressure goes back to normal.
  • More sensation returns to your hands and legs.
  • You slowly become clean of nicotine, which will induce craving another cigarette.

8 Hours

  • Your oxygen levels return to normal.
  • Your risk of heart attack lowers.
  • Carbon monoxide levels in your body are cut in HALF.
    • You inhale carbon monoxide when tobacco is burning.
    • This substance joins with your blood cells, preventing oxygen to connect with your cells, which can cause dangerous cardiovascular diseases.

48 Hours

  • The nicotine in your body will be completely GONE.
  • Your nerve endings revitalize and re-grow, restoring your sense of smell and taste.
  • You may feel nauseous and crave a cigarette – STICK WITH IT… more health benefits are right around the corner!

72 Hours

  • You begin breathing easily again.
  • Your respiratory system returns to normal.
  • Revitalization begins in your lungs, repairing the cilia (cilia keep your airways clear of mucus and dirt).
  • Your are further lowering your risk of cardiovascular disease, heart attack and kidney failure.

2 Weeks

  • Your lungs have cleaned out the nicotine and toxins and can now repair your body.
  • Your cough subsides (depending on how long you have been a smoker).
  • Improvement in physical activity without becoming short of breath.

3 to 9 Months

  • Your skin regains its radiance and vivacity.
  • Blood circulation increases.
  • Your skin becomes more soft and elastic (preventing wrinkles).

1 to 5 Years

  • Your risk for heart disease has been cut in HALF.
  • Yellow fingernails and teeth will be completely gone.
  • You lowered your risk of some cancers by 50% (lung, kidney, pancreas, mouth, bladder, etc.).

F4BA01AE-1D6F-458E-AA2F-0CC82B1E5C8410 to 15 Years

  • After 15 years, your chances of heart disease or cancer will be the same as that of a non-smoker’s.
  • Your life expectancy is extended.
  • The negative health consequences as a result of smoking are now GONE!


“I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy, I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it.”
Art Williams

YOU got this. Better health is only 20 minutes away, friend!

Ready to take the next step? Here are 2 resources to help you quit smoking NOW:

1. Smokefree.gov – Chat online with a Smoking Ceccastion Specialist for FREE (I tested it and someone responded within a minute and gave me more free resources). Here are the free resources they offer.

2. National Cancer Institute’s Smoking Quitline – 1-877-44U-QUIT (1-877-448-7848) Speak with someone on the phone who can help you out and guide you through this process.

Share this article on social media now – YOU may be the person that inspires someone to quit smoking today!


Source: The Spirit Sciencelleader_34 (1)

Lindsay Sibson

Lindsay Sibson

Lindsay Sibson turned her lifelong dream of traveling the world into a reality when she first stepped on a plan in April of 2014. With the simple intention of learning more about this beautiful world, she stepped away from corporate America to explore an alternative lifestyle of long term international travel, volunteering, blogging and pursuing a blissfully happy and fulfilling way of life.

Lindsay documents her journey in hopes of empowering others to find their passion, reignite their spark and freshen their outlook on life. Connect with her on her website and follow her travels on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/_traveloholic_).

Through her blog, Lindsay documents her journey in hopes of empowering others to find their passion, reignite their spark and freshen their outlook on life.
Lindsay Sibson

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