No Smoking Day: 6 things that happen in the first 48 hours of quitting cigarettes

As anyone who has attempted to quit smoking will tell you, the first few days are usually the hardest.

What with withdrawals and cravings, it’s altogether too easy to fall off the wagon. However, new quitters shouldn’t be too disheartened – because there really is a whole host of health benefits to gain, and some of them will happen surprisingly quickly.

While giving up cigarettes has countless long-term benefits that are more than worthwhile, indeed, the short-term shouldn’t be ignored. Fair enough, not everything will feel instantly positive (cravings are never easy), but here’s everything you need to know about what typically happens during the first 48 hours of giving up smoking…

1. Your pulse returns to normal

In fact, this happens just 20 minutes after you have your last cigarette, as smoking raises your heart rate and blood pressure.

2. Carbon monoxide is eliminated from the body

Carbon monoxide can lead to cardiovascular problems, so after just 24 of stopping smoking, your risk of heart attack will start to decrease.

3. Nicotine leaves your system

Unfortunately, this means you’ll also start experiencing withdrawals and cravings. However, as tough as these can be, withdrawals should start to reduce and pass in less than a week – and remember, there are lots of handy techniques and nicotine-replacement products out there that can really help with this.

4. You can taste and smell better

Cigarette smoke dulls your senses. After 48 hours, your nerve endings will begin to grow back, meaning that your taste and smell will improve.

5. Your lungs start to clear out mucus

This can result in a more intense cough than you’re used to. However, as your oxygen levels return to normal, you’ll probably start finding it easier to breathe than before.

6. You’ll save money

Sure, this isn’t exactly something that happens to your body, but it’s still very much worth noting (so start thinking of how else you can treat yourself with that money!).


More in this Section

Did you know today is International Yoga Day and fans are spoilt for choice in Cork

Guy catalogues every food date he and his girlfriend had over the past year

Top tips for keeping your pet safe during next week’s warm weather

Watch as table quiz meets funeral removal in latest sketch form Cork comedians


Today's Stories

Three Irish Examiner journalists honoured at Justice Media Awards

Switch could save 27,000 mortgage holders €10k

Ombudsman report: ‘Lack of sensitivity’ in teen psych units

Bad Wolves raises €250k for O’Riordan’s children

Lifestyle

New father’s life ‘changed forever’ after he was run over by surgeon

More From The Irish Examiner