The negative effects of tobacco smoke are well known and as revealed by recent research
, it is the leading cause of avoidable cancer cases in the UK. But what about the potential positive effects of kicking the habit? Is there any way back for a smoker's body? As part of a report
released by the World Health Organization for the UN's World No Tobacco Day shows, the potentially devastating effects of smoking
are actually far from a one way street.
After just 20 minutes, the first health improvements begin, with a drop in heart rate and blood pressure. Within 12 hours carbon monoxide levels return to normal and after a few weeks lung function increases and circulation improves. Even the heightened risk of stroke or coronary heart disease is gone within 15 years. Lung cancer also becomes a much less significant threat after about ten years.