The Quit Smoking Timeline and What Happens to the Body

Last Updated on by Inspire Malibu

Smokers are all too familiar with the satisfaction of lighting up a cigarette and feeling the soothing sensation of nicotine flowing through the body. That feel good moment is actually nicotine triggering the flow of dopamine in the brain, which causes the sensation of pleasure.

Smoking TimelineNicotine is a stimulant and one of the most addictive drugs available. It’s also one of the hardest drugs to quit. Because it’s legal, and for many years was socially acceptable, it never seemed like a problem for smokers to continue their habit.

After all, people who smoke don’t miss work because of it, they don’t steal to get a fix, and families aren’t ruined because a family member smokes.

Nonetheless, smoking cigarettes poses a major health hazard for both the smoker and the people near them when the light up. We’ve known this for years and people are finally starting to get the message. Tobacco companies are finding it more difficult to recruit new smokers because of the social stigma attached to cigarettes and because people know it’s truly bad for the body.

While nicotine is one part of the health problem, the smoke and other additives from cigarettes may pose the greatest threat. The best way to quit for many is cold turkey – have one last puff and be done.

What are the Side Effects of Quitting Smoking?

What are the quit smoking side effects? To get an idea of what happens to the body when a person quits smoking, we turn our attention to the quit smoking timeline below that illustrates some amazing numbers about returning to better health.

If more smokers understood how well the body can heal itself, we might see more people stop.

The side effects are all positive when somebody quits smoking. Initial effects begin in as little as 20 minutes and continue for 15 years. Soon after stopping, blood pressure returns to normal, carbon monoxide drops, chances of heart attacks decrease, as well that of stroke and lung disease.

To see this Quit Smoking Timeline in a larger format, visit Daily Infographic.

Quit Smoking Timeline


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The Quit Smoking Timeline and What Happens to the Body
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The Quit Smoking Timeline and What Happens to the Body
What happens to the body when you quit smoking cigarettes? The quit smoking timeline shows the effects of quitting after 20 minutes all the way to 15 years.
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Inspire Malibu
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