The first event on a quit-smoking timeline happens 20 minutes after a person quits smoking, as the heart rate drops back down to normal. Two hours after quitting, blood pressure goes back to normal, peripheral circulation improves, and withdrawal symptoms begin, leading to anxiety, frustration and increased appetite.
After a full day of not smoking, the risk of heart attack lowers considerably. Two days after quitting, smokers begin to regrow nerve endings and regain their sense of smell and taste. After two or three weeks, a person can begin to enjoy participating in physical activities without getting sick or losing breath. After a year of not smoking, the risk of developing heart disease drops by 50 percent, while after 15 years of not smoking, the risk remains about the same as that faced by a non-smoker.