Tips for your heart: Quit smoking

Smoking puts you at higher risk for heart disease and stroke. 

According to the American Heart Association and the U.S. surgeon general, this is how your body starts to recover when you quit smoking:

– In the first 20 minutes: your blood pressure and heart rate recover from the nicotine-induced spikes.

– After 12 hours: the carbon monoxide levels in your blood return to normal.

– After two weeks: your circulation and lung function begin to improve.

– After one to nine months: clear and deeper breathing gradually returns; you have less coughing and shortness of breath; you regain the ability to cough productively instead of hacking, which cleans your lungs and reduce your risk of infection.

– After one year: your risk of coronary heart disease is reduced by 50 percent.

– After 5 years: Your risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder are cut in half. Your risk of cervical cancer and stroke return to normal.

– After 10 years: You are half as likely to die from lung cancer. Your risk of larynx or pancreatic cancer decreases.

– After 15 years: your risk of coronary heart disease is the same as a non-smoker’s.

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