What Happens to My Risk of Stroke and Heart Attack When I Quit Smoking?

About 5 years after quitting smoking, your risk of stroke goes down to what it would have been if you had never smoked! All the things that make a stroke more likely begin to improve. Your blood carries more oxygen and your blood pressure decreases.

Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your health. These changes begin almost immediately after you quit and continue to improve over time. For example, your blood pressure and heart rate decrease within 20 minutes after having your last cigarette. Your risk of heart attack is cut in half one year after quitting smoking and, after 15 years, drops to the same risk it would have been had you never smoked.

Start now, improve now—and in all the years to come.


This information is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your doctor.  

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