If you are planning to quit smoking, now is the right time. If you already have, that’s great news! Welcome to the ex-smokers’ zone. The withdrawal symptoms might make it difficult for you to cope with life right now, but know that it is only temporary and will go away within a few weeks.

 

The withdrawal symptoms from nicotine, an addictive drug found in tobacco, include headaches, anxiety, nausea and a craving for more tobacco. Nicotine creates a chemical dependency, due to which the body develops a need for a certain level of nicotine at all times.

But what about the other withdrawal symptoms that are about to follow? Want to find out how many tobacco-free days it will take for your body to recuperate and no longer be at risk of the dangers of smoking? Here is the timeline according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the leading national public health institute of the United States.

 

20 minutes after you quit

The effects are seen immediately. Less than 20 minutes after your last cigarette, your heart rate will start to veer back towards normal.

Two hours after you quit

Your heart rate and blood pressure decrease to near normal levels. Your peripheral circulation may also improve. The tips of your fingers and toes may start to feel warm. The withdrawal symptoms usually start about two hours after your last cigarette. Early withdrawal symptoms include.

  • intense cravings
  • anxiety, tension, or frustration
  • drowsiness or trouble sleeping
  • increased appetite

24 hours after

The heart attack rate for smokers is 70 per cent higher than for non-smokers. But, believe or not, just one full day after quitting smoking, your risk for heart attack will reduce significantly.

Three days after

At this point, the nicotine will be completely out of your body. Unfortunately, that means that the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal will generally be at peak around this time. You may experience some physical symptoms such as headaches, nausea, or cramps.

One to nine months after

After one month your lungs begin to repair. Inside them, the cilia–the tiny, hair-like organelles that push mucus out–will start to repair themselves and function properly again. The risk of getting an infection is reduced. With properly functioning lungs, your coughing and shortness of breath may continue to decrease dramatically. Even for the heaviest smokers, withdrawal symptoms will take not more than the above-mentioned time period to go away.

One year after

After a year without smoking, your risk for heart disease is lowered by 50 per cent compared to when you were still smoking. Another way to look at it is that a smoker is more than twice as likely as you are, to have any type of heart disease.

Five year after

After five to 15 years of being smoke-free, your risk of having a stroke is the same as someone who doesn’t smoke.

15 years after

Your risk of heart disease is back to the same level as someone who doesn’t smoke. You’ll no longer be at a higher-than-normal risk for a wide range of conditions like heart attack, coronary artery disease, arrhythmias, angina, infections of the heart, or conditions that affect your heart’s beating rhythms.”