Benefits of Quitting Smoking

Benefits of Quitting

Stop Smoking

  • Quitting smoking at any age has benefits.1
  • The sooner you quit, the sooner your body can begin to heal.1,2
  • Tobacco smoke harms nonsmokers, too.1,3
  • Quitting smoking is the single best way to protect your family from secondhand smoke.4

Reduced Risk for Various Health Issues

Some benefits of quitting smoking occur quickly; more occur over time. For example:

  • Your risk for a heart attack drops sharply just 1 year after you quit smoking.
  • After 2 to 5 years, your chance for stroke could fall to about the same as a nonsmoker's.
  • Within 5 years of quitting, your chance of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder is cut in half.
  • Risks for other conditions—including ulcer, peripheral artery disease, and cancers of the larynx, lung, and cervix—are reduced after quitting.
  • The risk of having a low birth weight baby drops to normal if you quit before pregnancy or during your first trimester.

Other Benefits of Quitting

  • Health benefits for people with diabetes who quit smoking begin immediately and include having better control over blood sugar levels.1
  • If you quit smoking, you will breathe better and it will be easier to be active.1
  • By not smoking, you help protect family, friends, and coworkers from health risks associated with breathing secondhand smoke. These include an increased risk for heart disease and lung cancer among adults. For babies and children, risks include respiratory infections, ear infections, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).1,3

No single quit smoking method is right for everyone. Learn more about quit smoking methods to decide which ones might be right for you.


Reference: Center for Disease Control and Prevention

  1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. A Report of the Surgeon General: How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease: What It Means to You. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2010 [accessed 2013 June 5].
  2. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking: What It Means to You. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2004 [accessed 2013 June 5].
  3. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General: Secondhand Smoke: What It Means To You. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2006 [accessed 2013 June 5].
  4. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General: Highlights: How to Protect Yourself and Your Loved Ones from Secondhand Smoke. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2006 [accessed 2013 June 5].

Last updated April 20, 2017

This information is for general educational uses only. It may not apply to you and your personal medical needs. This information should not be used in place of a visit, call, consultation with or the advice of your physician or health care professional.

Communicate promptly with your physician or other health care professional with any health-related questions or concerns.

Be sure to follow specific instructions given to you by your physician or health care professional.

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