Source: Action on Smoking and Health. Factsheet Number 11 Stopping Smoking  ASH 2007. http://www.ash.org.uk/

Time since quittingBeneficial health changes that take place
8 hoursNicotine and carbon monoxide levels in blood reduce by half, oxygen levels return to normal
24 hours
Carbon monoxide eliminated from the body
48 hoursNicotine eliminated from the body. Taste buds start to recover 
1 monthAppearance improves - skin loses its grayish pallor and becomes less wrinkled  Regeneration of respiratory cilia starts
Withdrawal symptoms have stopped
3 - 9 monthsCoughing and wheezing decline
5 yearsThe excess risk of a heart attack reduces by half compared to that of a smoker
10 yearsThe risk of lung cancer halved compared to continued smoking
 
 
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