The minute you quit, your body starts working to repair the damage caused by tobacco. Within 48 hours, your senses of smell and taste begin to recover. The next month, you may notice that your cough and shortness of breath are improving. And once you reach the ten-year mark, your risk of death from lung cancer will almost equal the risk of a lifelong nonsmoker.
How to atone: Because ex-smokers will have an increased risk of heart disease for 15 years, I recommend spending 20 to 30 minutes in a sauna once or twice a week. (Most fitness clubs have one.) Several studies have documented the effectiveness of sauna therapy for reducing blood pressure, and breathing the hot air can improve lung function.