In April, 2009, my grandfather, Christopher Dalton, age 56, made “the hardest decision” of his life.

“I made the decision while I was working in my office, and a few of my friends asked me if I wanted to smoke with them outside,” he recalls.” I looked out my window and saw that it was pouring down rain, and I said no, not right now; it is raining. Later, when I saw them outside in the rain smoking, I told myself there is no point to keep smoking. I spend eight dollars per pack and I smoke two packs every day. This added up to nearly $480 per month, just for smoking.”  

After 30 years of smoking, Dalton decided to quit right away, “cold turkey.” What happened to his body as he went “cold turkey”?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 46 million U.S. adults smoke, as of 2009. Smokers aren’t the only ones that can get sick from, or even killed by, nicotine. Nonsmokers can experience similar symptoms to those who smoke.

  According to the American Cancer Society, if you decide to quit smoking immediately, your body starts its journey back to normal soon after. After only 20 minutes, blood pressure receded to the levels of a nonsmoker. Then, after eight hours, carbon monoxide levels in Dalton’s body dropped by half, and oxygen levels were back to normal levels.

  After 48 hours, my grandfather’s chance of having a heart attack from smoking began to drop, all the nicotine in his body was out, and his sense of taste and smell will return to the normal level. At 72 hours, his bronchial tubes were relaxed, allowing him to breathe and talk more easily, and his overall energy level began to rise.

   The first few days were rough as predicted. It was a constant battle not to light up. This consumed most of my brain activity the first few days,” Dalton adds.

 After only two weeks, blood his circulation began to increase, and continued to do so for another 10 weeks or so, because as he smoked the nicotine and smoke his blood was very thin compared to that of a nonsmoker. And after being smoke-free for three to nine months, his coughs, wheezing and breathing problems dissipated, and lung strength increased by at least 10% from his levels while he smoked, according to the American Cancer Society. 

Dalton also adds, “The following weeks were tough as well. The thought of pleasures received from having a cigarette were almost constant.”

 By the one-year point, his risk of having a heart attack related to smoking dropped by half. “The following months began to offer a few moments of peace. The cravings began to lessen to only a few thoughts per hour,” Dalton says.

If my grandpa does not smoke for five years, his chances of having a stroke will be back to that of a nonsmoker, according to the CDC.

  After 10 years, his risk of getting lung cancer from smoking will have returned to that of a nonsmoker. Finally, after not smoking for 15 years, the risk of having a heart attack will have returned to that of a nonsmoker.

  Since my grandfather made the decision to be smoke free, his health has improved incredibly. He is now riding his bike almost every day, four or five miles each ride, and he is staying healthy any way he can.

 “I will never go back to smoking for any reason ever again,” he said. “I used to dread movies or long airline trips where I was unable to smoke.”

The biggest tip my grandfather can give is that no matter how tough the trek may be, never give up because the more self-confidence you have, the easier it will become, and your overall strength will increase.

 Some withdrawal symptoms that can be experienced when you quit smoking cold turkey are bad headaches, tremors, and short-term depression, according to the National Institutes of Health.  “I was very nervous, unable to consecrate or relax. I always had some type of food or candy in my mouth. I added a few inches to my waist line.”

 “After almost 2 years, the thought of smoking still seems like a good idea at times. When that happens, I need to rethink what my life was like then and how much better it is today.”


  1. What a great article! You did such a great job of telling your grandfather’s story and explaining the science through information from multiple credible websites. Way to go!

  2. This is very well written, and an awesome topic of choice. It can inspire may to quit. When knowing the little amount of things that’s going on in there body rather feeling the craving and giving in. Good Job !

  3. Very well written article with good attribution of facts. It kept me interested throughout the article and was very inspiring at the same time.

  4. What an inspiring story. This is great and wonderful thing to hear. Smoking can hurt many in the world and the more that stop now, will just improve the future of all of us.

  5. Very good article, this s the type of article some smokers if read could inspire them to start taking the steps to quit smoking and benefit themselves and everyone around them

  6. this was a great article i really liked it and also was just recently talking to a friend about this subject and really liked the subect great job and topic

  7. Great job! this is very interesting, my dad smokes and i have talked to him many times abot quitting but he always says its too late, this cn help me prove him wrong. Great sources and good job supporting your claim! Nice work!

  8. This is a great article because it can inspire people that think they cant stop smoking to stop! good for your grandpa 🙂

  9. Thanks everyone! My grandpa is doing GREAT! Keep passing the word and hopefully this can help someone you know personally make the decision to change their life!

  10. Yes, it was a nice read. Standard facts and quotes about quitting. For someone in my position who just quit cold turkey six days ago it’s actually a little depressing. Did you not read what this actually said? It took MONTHS before the cravings were down to only a few an hour? So after two months you’re still going to sit there and jones for a smoke every 15 minutes? Even YEARS later you will still miss it occasionally? I’m sorry, good story for some, depressing as hell for others. Just sayin’…

  11. I just stoped smoking today after i started at 15 and im 35 i need to for my kids im going to go thro hell but i can do it im ready:cried