What happens to your body when you quit smoking

Taryn Davies
Published: December 12, 2017

Quitting smoking is a hugely popular New Year’s resolution that a lot of poeple will be trying next month, and while it’s great to hear that you want to quit, it’s going to take a lot of hard work, but knowing what happens to your body after you smoke your last cigarette might just give you a little push and motivation to beat the habit.

Nicotine is highly addictive, and to rid your body of the substance will take a lot of might and struggle, but it's definitely worth it.

The health effects of stopping smoking are quite incredible, and what’s more, they start to happen in as little as 20 minutes of your last cigarette. After a few days you’ll see a real benefit to your health, and hopefully, that’ll fuel you to keep going.

What happens to your body after your last cigarette?

After just 20 – 30 minutes: Your blood pressure and pulse will drop in as little as 20 minutes.

After two hours: Your body's blood circulation will improve, so you're likely to feel warmth and other sensations in your fingertips. This is the time frame that you're going to get withdrawal symtoms. These can differ for everyone, but you're likely to feel irritable and anxious.

After eight hours: The amount of nicotine in your bloodstream will have gone down quite dramatically, so you're going to get a surge of cravings.

After 24 hours: Carbon monoxide in the blood will have been steadily lowering since you had your last cigarette. It takes your body just 24 hours to get the blood oxygen levels back to the same level of a non-smoker. Which is only good news for your blood cells, as smoking will have stopped the oxygen from circulating properly in your blood stream.

After 1 year: Your risk of heart disease will be drastically reduced, you're now at just half the risk of a smoker.  

After 10 years: Your risk of lung cancer will have been halved to that of a smoker.

What Happens To Your Body After Your Last Cigarette TheFuss.co.uk

The effect of smoking on your mouth

Oral Health Foundation share seven problems that you may not know smoking causes for the health of your mouth, and how you can avoid it by quitting.

Yellow teeth

The constant feed of nicotine and tar in the tobacco will turn your teeth yellow, it does it in a real short time frame too. So you're likely not to see an improvement until you quit.

Gum disease and tooth loss

Smoking will not only cause the teeth to yellow, but you might be lucky to still have them. Gum disease and tooth loss are easily caused by smoking, because it affects how the teeth connect to gums and bone in your jaw. Tissue in the gums are more vulnerable to infection becayse of smoking and it can affect the bones by disintegrating it, which results in teeth not being able to be held in place.

Bacterial growth

Now matter how much you clean them, smoking will increase the bacteria and plaque in your mouth, which results in cavities and decay. The plaque caused by smoking is also likely to affect the tissue that supports the root of the teeth.

Scaly teeth

Thanks to an increase of plaque, you're also likely to have tartar build up. Which is created when plaquey isn't cleaned off the teeth properly. Tartar can result in gum disease and receding gums too.

Mouth cancer

Every cigarette has thousands of chemicals, and not only will they cause cancer in the body, but mouth cancer too. Quite simply becuase it's where they enter the body. Mouth cancer cases are typically caused by smoking in roughly two out of three cases.

Bad breath

‘Smokers breath’ is going to be the first thing you notice when you start to smoke. This occurs because their are particles left in the mouth, throat and lungs even after you've finished smoking.

Patchy mouth

Leukoplakia is the formation of a white or grey patch which develops in the mouth because of smoking. It's caused by constant irritation of the soft tissues in the mouth.

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