Bad news; you smoke. Good news; due to the fact that your body replaces 300 billion cells every day, you can reverse many of the negative health effects that result from smoking. The list below shows a recovery timetable of the changes that occur physically, mentally and emotionally when you quit smoking for 21 days. 10 Overlooked Reasons to Quit Smoking
20 minutes – Your blood pressure, pulse rate, and the temperature of your hands and feet will all return to normal.
8 hours – Remaining nicotine in your bloodstream will have fallen to 6.25% of normal peak daily levels, a 93.25% reduction.
12 hours – Your blood oxygen level will have increased to normal and carbon monoxide levels will have dropped to normal.
24 hours – Anxieties peak in intensity and within two weeks should return to near pre-cessation levels.
48 hours – Damaged nerve endings have started to re-grow and your sense of smell and taste are beginning to return to normal. Cessation anger and irritability peaks.
72 hours – Your entire body will test 100% nicotine-free and over 90% of all nicotine metabolites (the chemicals it breaks down into) will now have passed from your body via your urine. Symptoms of chemical withdrawal have peaked in intensity, including restlessness. The number of cue induced crave episodes experienced during any quitting day will peak for the “average” ex-user. Lung bronchial tubes leading to air sacs (alveoli) are beginning to relax in recovering smokers. Breathing is becoming easier and the lungs functional abilities are starting to increase.
5-8 days – The “average” ex-smoker will encounter an “average” of three cue induced crave episodes per day. Although you may not be “average” and although serious cessation time distortion can make minutes feel like hours, it is unlikely that any single episode will last longer than 3 minutes.
10 days – The “average ex-user is down to encountering less than two crave episodes per day, each less than 3 minutes.
2 weeks – Recovery has likely progressed to the point where your addiction is no longer doing the talking. Blood circulation in our gums and teeth are now similar to that of a non-user.
3 weeks – Cessation related anger, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, impatience, insomnia, restlessness and depression have ended. If still experiencing any of these symptoms get seen and evaluated by your physician.
21 days – Brain acetylcholine receptor counts up-regulated in response to nicotine’s presence have now down-regulated and receptor binding has returned to levels seen in the brains of non-smokers.
WARNING: While most of the listed health risk reversal statements above are common to all quitting methods, the above list is intended for cold turkey quitters only, not those using quitting products which may produce their own symptoms, delay withdrawal or otherwise inhibit restoration of natural brain neuron function or sensitivities. The above list reflects averages and norms. Do not rely upon this list as it relates to any behavioral change or symptom if you are using any quit smoking product.