Study Finds It Is Never Too Late to Quit Smoking
Age does not matter, even when it comes to giving up one’s cigarette habit.
A study looked into how smoking behavior was linked to mortality among people over the age of 60. The study debunked the assumption made by some lifelong smokers, who say that they have been smoking for such a long time that there was no point in quitting.
The study, which was published Monday in the Archives of Internal Medicine, consisted of an analysis of data from 17 studies from the United States, China, Australia, Japan, England, Spain, and France. These studies followed between 863 and 877,243 people, for periods that range from three to fifty years.
The analysis determined that smokers over the age of 60 were 83 percent more likely to die while they were being tracked, when compared against those who do not smoke. In comparison, former smokers over the age of 60 were 34 percent more likely to die while they were being tracked, when compared against those who do not smoke. That is a reduction of 28 percent in terms of risk, between those who continued to smoke, and those who decided to kick the habit.
The study authors wrote: “The hazardous effects of smoking persist even in oldest age… even older people who smoked for a lifetime without negative health consequences should be encouraged and supported to quit smoking.”
Dr. Tai Hing Lam of the University of Hong Kong, who wrote a commentary to accompany the study, gave the following advice: “Most smokers grossly underestimate their own risks… The World Health Organization likes to say that one out of every two smokers will die from their habit, a statistic that should be printed on all packages of cigarettes so that all smokers know that they are betting their lives on the toss of a coin.”Tags: benefits of quit smoking, old people quit smoking, smoking in old age