Call the HSE Quit Team on Freephone 1800 201 203 or Freetext QUIT to 50100
The benefits of quitting
The health benefits start right away when you quit smoking:
- Within 20 minutes your circulation will improve, your heart rate and blood pressure will get lower. This reduces your risk of heart attack straight away.
- Within 8 hours the carbon monoxide level in your blood will drop and the oxygen level will go up.
- Within 24-48 hours all the carbon monoxide will have left your body.
- Within a few days your sense of smell and taste will start to improve.
- After 72 hours your breathing will improve and your energy levels will increase.
- Within 2 or 3 months your lung capacity can increase by up to 30%.
- Within 1 year your chance of heart attack drops by half and within 10 years the risk drops to almost the same as a non-smoker.
- Within 5 years the risk of smoking related cancers will be greatly reduced.
- Once you give up, your lungs start to fight back by coughing up tar. A mug full of tar builds up in the lungs of a 20 a day smoker over the period of a year. It is the toxic chemicals in tar that cause cancer.
These are just some benefits. No matter what age you quit smoking, you will:
- look and feel better
- have fresher breath and cleaner teeth, hair, skin and fingers
- have more control of your life
- be fitter and have more energy
- reduce your risk of illness
- reduce the complications of existing illnesses
- have a better quality of life
- be a good role model for your children or grandchildren
- have more money
- have a healthier family as they will not be exposed to your second-hand smoke