Facebook Pixel

How long does it take for your body to heal/recover after smoking cigarettes?

By February 13, 2009 - 2:19pm
Rate This

I quit smoking nearly 10 years ago after nearly 20 years of smoking almost a pack a day.

I read somewhere that it takes the body a very long time to "heal" itself after all that poison in the system which is a bit disappointing after all the work it takes to quit.

does anyone know if the body ever really recovers from a 20 year smoking habit? I was under 35 when I quit.

thank you

Add a Comment153 Comments

EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to rlyons)

"How Quickly Do the Benefits of Quitting Start?"

* "Just 20 minutes after your last cigarette, your blood pressure and
pulse rate drop to normal and the body temperature of your hands and
feet increases to normal."

* "A mere 8 hours after your last smoke, the carbon monoxide level
decreases and the oxygen level in your blood increases to normal."

* "Just 24 hours after your last cigarette, you substantially lessen
your chances of having a heart attack."

* "Two days after your last cigarette, you will notice that your
ability to taste and smell is enhanced."

* "Three days later, your breathing should be noticeably better
because your lung capacity will be greater."

* "Your circulation will improve and your lung functioning will
increase up to 30% within two weeks to three months after quitting."

* "Between one month and nine months, the cilia in your lungs will
regenerate, allowing your body to clean your lungs and reduce

* "One year after quitting, your risk of coronary heart disease is
half that of a smoker."

* "Five years after quitting, your risk of stroke is reduced to that
of a nonsmoker."

* "Ten years after quitting, the lung cancer death rate is about half
that of a continuing smokers. The risk of cancer of the mouth, throat,
esophagus, bladder, kidney and pancreas decreases."

* "Fifteen years after quitting, your risk of coronary heart disease
is that of a nonsmokers.

(U.S. Surgeon General's Reports (1988, 1990)

October 31, 2011 - 3:07pm
(reply to rlyons)

Don't listen to that doctor. Within 1 year all function of your lungs should return to normal and regrow cilia(hairlike fibers). If you have quit 10 to 15 years. You are as close to 100% cured than the nonsmoker is. Your risk for heart attacks and cancer is normal as a non- smokers. You are fine. Yes, it is better to quit by 35(good choice). I always said that myself,but found myself going back smoking. Electronic cigarettes may be the next way. Smoking through water bongs may be a lung saver. If I just had 10,000 pieces of nicoderm gum for like $50, I would be quit for sure.

June 2, 2011 - 8:31pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to man1320)

Hi there, I gave up the smokes and the one thing that got me through it was the electric cigarette :) I found after awhile i was fine without it :) I would recommend it to anyone Best of luck x Chrissy

September 19, 2012 - 10:00am
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy
Add a Comment

All user-generated information on this site is the opinion of its author only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical conditions. Members and guests are responsible for their own posts and the potential consequences of those posts detailed in our Terms of Service.


Get Email Updates

Addictions Guide

HERWriter Guide

Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.


Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!