A new study of former smokers has found that positive effects were experienced by 95% as early as two weeks after quitting.
The data from 3,000 ex-smokers revealed that 45% of quitters had more energy within two weeks, while 42% felt healthier and breathed more easily.
In addition, 22% of survey respondents noted improvement in their ability to exercise, a quarter (25%) said their sense of taste returned, and 24% reported having healthier looking skin.
The findings of the nationwide study have been released by the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) ahead of its annual Stoptober campaign, which encourages smokers to quit during the month of October by offering a range of free support tools including the NHS Quit Smoking app and an online personal quit plan.
Dr Jeanelle de Gruchy, deputy chief medical officer for England, said: ‘Over the past 12 years Stoptober has helped over two and a half million people make a quit attempt.
‘However, while smoking rates are in decline, there are over five million adults in England who still smoke, so it’s vital we support everyone to go smoke-free.’
According to a 2022 study by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) on adult smoking habits in the UK, smoking is linked to 64,000 deaths a year, and remains the single biggest cause of preventable illness and death in the country.
The Ready Reckoner 2023 report by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) found that the total cost from smoking to society in England is approximately £17bn a year, including NHS treatment costs of £1.9bn a year.
Government health minister Neil O’Brien said: ‘We remain committed to our bold ambition to be smoke-free by 2030, bolstered by a package of new measures giving vapes to a million smokers, new financial incentives for pregnant women to quit and new pack inserts to provide support for people to quit.’