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Quit Smoking Recovery Timetable

Within ...

20 minutes

Your blood pressure, pulse rate and the temperature of your hands and feet have returned to normal.


8 hours

Remaining nicotine in your bloodstream has fallen to 6.25% of normal peak daily levels, a 93.75% reduction.


12 hours

Your blood oxygen level has increased to normal. Carbon monoxide levels have dropped to normal.


24 hours

Anxieties have peaked in intensity and within two weeks should return to near pre-cessation levels.


48 hours

Damaged nerve endings have started to regrow and your sense of smell and taste are beginning to return to normal. Cessation anger and irritability will have peaked.


72 hours

Your entire body will test 100% nicotine-free. Over 90% of all nicotine metabolites (the chemicals nicotine breaks down into) have passed from your body via your urine.  Symptoms of chemical withdrawal have peaked in intensity, including restlessness. Unless use cues have been avoided, the number of cue induced crave episodes experienced during any quitting day have peaked 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 your lung's functional abilities are improving.


5 - 8 days

The "average" ex-smoker is down to experiencing just three cue induced crave episodes per day. Although we may not be "average" and although minutes may feel like hours when normal cessation time distortion combines with the body's panic response, it is unlikely that any single episode will last longer than 3 minutes. Keep a clock handy and time the episode to maintain an honest perspective on time.


10 days

The "average" ex-user is down to encountering less than two crave episodes per day.


10 days to 2 weeks

Recovery has likely progressed to the point where your addiction is no longer doing the talking. Blood circulation in your gums and teeth are now similar to that of a non-user.


2 to 4 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.


2 weeks to 3 months

Your heart attack risk has started to drop. Your lung function has noticeably improved. If your health permits, sample your circulation and lung improvement by walking briskly, climbing stairs or running further or faster than normal.


21 days

The number of acetylcholine receptors, which were up-regulated in response to nicotine's presence in the frontal, parietal, temporal, occipital, basal ganglia, thalamus, brain stem and cerebellum regions of your brain have now substantially down-regulated. Receptor binding has returned to levels seen in the brains of non-smokers (2007 study).


3 weeks to 3 months

Your circulation has substantially improved. Walking has become easier. Your chronic cough, if any, has likely disappeared. If not, get seen by a doctor, and sooner if at all concerned, as a chronic cough can be a sign of lung cancer.


4 weeks

Plasma suPAR is a stable inflammatory biomarker that helps predict development of diseases ranging from diabetes to cancer in smokers. A 2016 study found that within 4 weeks of quitting smoking, with or without NRT, that suPAR levels in 48 former smokers had fallen from a baseline smoking median of 3.2 ng/ml to levels "no longer significantly different from the never smokers' values" (1.9 ng/ml)


8 weeks

Insulin resistance in smokers has normalized despite average weight gain of 2.7 kg (2010 SGR, page 384).


1 to 9 months

Any smoking related sinus congestion, fatigue or shortness of breath has decreased. Cilia have regrown in your trachea (windpipe) thereby increasing the ability to sweep dirt and mucus out of your lungs. Your body's overall energy has increased.


1 year

Your excess risk of coronary heart disease, heart attack and stroke has dropped to less than half that of a smoker.


5 years

Your risk of a subarachnoid hemorrhage has declined to 59% of your risk while still smoking (2012 study). If a female ex-smoker, your risk of developing diabetes is now that of a non-smoker (2001 study).


5 to 15 years

Your risk of stroke has declined to that of a non-smoker.


10 years

Your risk of being diagnosed with lung cancer is between 30% to 50% of that for a continuing smoker (2005 study). Risk of death from lung cancer has declined by almost half if you were an average smoker (one pack per day).  Risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus and pancreas have declined. Risk of developing diabetes for both men and women is now similar to that of a never-smoker (2001 study).


13 years

The average smoker lucky enough to live to age 75 has 5.8 fewer teeth than a non-smoker (1998 study). But by year 13 after quitting, your risk of smoking induced tooth loss has declined to that of a never-smoker (2006 study).


15 years

Your risk of coronary heart disease is now that of a person who has never smoked. Your risk of pancreatic cancer has declined to that of a never-smoker (2011 study - but note a 2nd pancreatic study making an identical finding at 20 years).


20 years

If a female, your excess risk of death from all smoking related causes, including lung disease and cancer, has now reduced to that of a never-smoker (2008 study). Risk of pancreatic cancer has also declined to that of a never-smoker (2011 study).



Nicotine Addiction 101




Tips For Gaining Freedom From Nicotine Addiction


Caring For Your Quit


Nicodemon’s Lies


My Cigarette, My Friend


Are You A Nicotine Junkie?


The Isolation Of A Widowed Smoker


The Law of Addiction


A Fate Worse Than Death


The Smoker's Vow


Gradual Withdrawal For Your Worst Enemy


Make a ticker/quit meter to track how many days you've been quit, how many cigarettes you've not smoked and how much money you've saved.  It's amazing to see how much money we've wasted on cigarettes, not to mention how many we've NOT SMOKED.  You can make them right here on our forum.



Allen Carr’s Easy Way


I’m a huge advocate of Allen Carr’s book and highly recommend that everyone give it a read.  Study the book as if you’re taking an exam in college and have to pass the course.  Study it some more.  Grasp the concept that cigarettes do nothing for you and you’re not giving anything up by quitting.  I’ve been carrying Allen Carr’s book around with me like Linus toting his blanket.  Remarkably, the book and the blanket serve the same objective.

Something written in the foreward, by Damian O’Hara, really hit home.  Previously the book had been used as an apparatus; direction and information which laid the prep work for success.  This time, the well-worn paperback means a little more to me than just a revelation.  Here is the lucid sentence that brought me back home.


“In fact, like many smokers, I came to see the cigarette as my best friend, my ‘me’ time, my island of peace and tranquility in a crazy world, my ever present companion.”


Ah yes, this crazy, messed up world in which we live.  My crazy place in time still remains and smoking didn’t change it, ease it or make it more tolerable.  All it did was leave me with regret.  I can’t go back and undo what has been done but I can move forward.  The good news is that I didn’t go back to where I had left off and quitting now is simply like dropping junk-mail into the recycling bin.

I first saw the video clip below of Allen Carr speaking about his Easy Way to stop smoking.  I was intrigued enough to buy his book, “Easy Way To Stop Smoking”, and it was a game changer for me.  I never looked at smoked the same way again.  I never in my wildest dreams could have thought that quitting smoking could not only be enjoyable, but also easy.





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I found these videos extremely helpful the first two weeks of my quit. Daily Quitting Lesson Guide


TN_day_two.gif TN_day_three.gif TN_day_four.gif TN_day_five.gif TN_day_six.gif

Link to YouTube Featured Playlists for all of Joel Spitzer's Stop Smoking Videos


I watched these like crazy, educating myself on the nature of addiction, how nicotine works on the body, and how deep breathing can help alleviate the cravings. Read, read, read, also, al the links/articles in the Newbie package and post lots of whiny, silly posts. Seriously. Everyone does. And you'll feel better. Make sure and for real, post an "SOS" when you get one of those "I have to SMOKE" cravings. Wait. Wait. Wait. People will answer you. Just hang on to the side of your monitor with clenched hands, and wait for your help.


The Blood Sugar goes haywire the first 72 hours of withdrawal from nicotine. So, drink fruit juice regularly. Cranberry is great, but any juice, really. Hummus is my friend. Hummus. A weird dip made from something healthy. I use this and lots of vegetables that, when slathered with hummus, tastes good. And, I have only gained 2 pounds in 5 weeks of my quit. So far. lol. Ice Water and tick tacs, they help. And, most of all; WALK. Post and SOS, wait for the help, then walk. Anywhere. It helps tremendously.


Make sure you get back to your people on the forum when you get back from your walk. They are waiting to hear from you. They worry. lol.


That's worked for me, anyway,

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  • 1 month later...

Permission granted to Quit Train to post and use these pictures from Adbusters.Org as long as they stay on this site.  :)

Joe Chemo



The real Marlboro Country



Philip Morris in Asia



Utter Kool cigaretttes, Fool


Tobacco executives hide behind sexy models



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QuitTrain®, a quit smoking support community, was created by former smokers who have a deep desire to help people quit smoking and to help keep those quits intact.  This place should be a safe haven to escape the daily grind and focus on protecting our quits.  We don't believe that there is a "one size fits all" approach when it comes to quitting smoking.  Each of us has our own unique set of circumstances which contributes to how we go about quitting and more importantly, how we keep our quits.


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