Addiction Nicotine Use After You Quit The First 2 Days After You Quit Smoking By Terry Martin Terry Martin Facebook Twitter Terry Martin quit smoking after 26 years and is now an advocate for those seeking freedom from nicotine addiction. Learn about our editorial process Updated on January 19, 2020 Medically reviewed Verywell Mind articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and mental healthcare professionals. Medical Reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more. by Sanja Jelic, MD Medically reviewed by Sanja Jelic, MD Sanja Jelic, MD, is board-certified in sleep medicine, critical care medicine, pulmonary disease, and internal medicine. Learn about our Medical Review Board Print Brand X Pictures/Stockbyte/Getty Images When you quit smoking, the health benefits begin within minutes of your last cigarette. According to the Surgeon General, physical improvements in your body begin within the first hour of smoking cessation. Your Body Within the First 2 Days of Quitting After 20 Minutes: Your heart rate and blood pressure drop back to normal, and the circulation in your hands and feet starts to improve. After 12 hours: The carbon monoxide levels in your blood reduce, and the oxygen level in blood increases to normal. After one day: Your chance of having a heart attack decreases. After two days: Your sense of smell and taste improves as your nerve endings start to heal. That's a lot of improvement for just 48 hours of smoking cessation. The Immediate Benefits of Quitting The chemicals in cigarettes affect you in more ways than you realize. When you quit and start to see changes in the discomforts you've been living with, like headaches, chronic sinus irritation, and fatigue, for instance, you start to put two and two together. That's not to say that every physical ailment can be traced to tobacco use, but you will probably be pleasantly surprised at some of the changes that take place once you stop smoking. Best of all, this is just the beginning. You can look forward to many additional improvements in the days and months to come. Making the Decision to Quit It takes courage to put down that last cigarette. Most people feel an intense combination of fear and excitement leading up to their quit date. Feeling afraid to quit smoking is completely normal and is a by-product of nicotine addiction. But don't let that fear paralyze you. Pick your quit date and stick to it. The benefits you'll experience in the short and long term are well worth the work it takes to achieve. When Is The Best Time To Quit Smoking? Breaking the Dependence Years of associating smoking with everything you do creates powerful links in the chain of psychological dependence you had on nicotine. You thought you enjoyed smoking. You convinced yourself that smoking calmed your nerves and helped you think more clearly. You thought of cigarettes as a friend, a companion, a buddy. You thought smoking helped you have more fun and enjoy life more fully. Logically, you knew better, but addiction can make people rationalize and justify all kinds of crazy notions. You (understandably) like the feeling of relief you get when the nicotine level in your bloodstream is replenished. From the time a cigarette is stubbed out until the next one is lit, smokers are in a state of physical withdrawal from nicotine. The more time between cigarettes, the more severe the withdrawal, resulting in edginess, inability to concentrate, and even feelings of depression. It's a vicious, never-ending cycle. That is an addiction, not enjoyment. You don't think of smoking as enslaving and self-destructive when you first start, but over time addiction quietly teaches you that you are weak and powerless. Most people want to stop long before they do. Weighing the Pros and Cons of Smoking Support for Your Quit Program Support is a key ingredient to a solid quit smoking program. A smoking cessation support forum is a place to meet people who are going through what you are, or have been there and can offer constructive advice. Your resolve will be bolstered more than you can imagine just by being around others who have the same goals you do. Remember that quitting tobacco is a process. It takes time. Your courage to take that first step and throw the butts away is a choice you'll never regret making. Your life will improve a thousandfold when you have kicked tobacco out, once and for all. You'll have even more benefits from two weeks to three months of quitting. 1 Source Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Within 20 Minutes of Quitting Poster. Additional Reading Alberg AJ, Shopland DR, Cummings KM. The 2014 Surgeon Generals Report: Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the 1964 Report of the Advisory Committee to the US Surgeon General and Updating the Evidence on the Health Consequences of Cigarette Smoking. American Journal of Epidemiology. 2014;179(4):403-412. doi:10.1093/aje/kwt335 By Terry Martin Terry Martin quit smoking after 26 years and is now an advocate for those seeking freedom from nicotine addiction. See Our Editorial Process Meet Our Review Board Share Feedback Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! What is your feedback? 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