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What happens when you stop smoking, does your body fully recover and how long does it take for your lungs to heal?

As well as lung function improving, quitting is also good for your skin, fertility, and sex life.

What happens to your body immediately after quitting smoking?

After just 12 hours, the body cleanses itself of excess carbon monoxide and returns to normal, increasing its oxygen level.

Once a day has passed, the risk of a heart attack starts to decrease and blood pressure drops.

After two days, the quitters may notice a heightened sense of smell and taste, as smoking damages the nerve endings responsible for these.

Nicotine withdrawal kicks in around three days after quitting and your body starts to readjust, so many people may feel irritable or suffer from headaches as they’re craving a cigarette.

What happens to your lungs after quitting?

After a month, lung function and capacity improves, and cardiovascular activities such as running become easier.

By nine months after quitting, they will have significantly healed, and people will start to notice fewer lung infections.

The likelihood of lung cancer is cut in half after being smoke-free for 10 years, and the risk of mouth or throat cancer is also reduced.

After 20 years, the risk of lung disease or cancer is the same level as someone who has never smoked in their life.

What are the other benefits to quitting?

Smoking causes premature ageing and sallow skin, so quitting will help skin to look younger, as it gets more nutrients.

Fertility is improved, so the likelihood of getting pregnant is increased, as well as giving birth to a healthy baby.

Your sex life is also affected because quitting helps blood flow, so men get better erections and women become more aroused easily – leading to improved orgasms.

According to the NHS, “children that live with smokers have “three times the risk of getting lung cancer in later life compared with children who live with non-smokers”, so quitting also improves the health of your kids.

Also, cigarettes are costly, so quitting can also help your finances – you could even save you thousands of pounds after a few years.

What other habits should you watch out for? Here's our monthly wall planner on how to keep healthy throughout the year.

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Plus, check out the first-aid skills that EVERY parent should know – it could save a life.

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