If you’ve been smoking for a while, you might wonder if quitting’s even worth it. Maybe the cravings and nicotine withdrawal just turn you off to the whole idea. You wonder, "The damage is done, so does it really make a difference?"
Absolutely. Your body has an amazing ability to heal itself, and it happens quicker than you think -- less than half an hour after you put out that last cigarette. And keep in mind, you’re more likely to succeed if you have a plan to handle those cravings, especially...
After 48 hours: Your ability to taste and smell starts to return.
After 72 hours: The bronchial tubes (airways) relax.
After two weeks to three months: Your circulation improves.
After one to nine months: Cilia (tiny hairs) in the lungs regrow, increasing the lung's capacity to handle mucus, clean itself, and reduce infection. Coughing, sinus congestion, fatigue, and shortness of breath also decrease.
After one to five years: Your risk of dying from heart disease is cut to half that of a lifelong smoker's risk.
After 10 years: Your risk of dying from lung cancer drops to almost the same rate as that of a lifelong nonsmoker. Your risk for mouth, larynx, and other cancers decreases.