Quitting Smoking, Even After Age 60, May Boost Longevity

Posted By: QuitSmoking.com Staff | May 28 2014


Researchers reviewed studies that ranged in duration from three to 50 years and looked at anywhere from 863 participants to more than 877,000 people. One study showed that 59 percent of non-smokers were alive at age 80, compared to 26 percent of smokers. Another study showed that those who had quit before the age of 40 had the same death rates as those who had never smoked.

The researchers also found that smokers who were 60 years and older were 83 percent more likely to die at any given age than those in the same age group who had never smoked. Some causes of death - such as cancers of the mouth, pharynx, and larynx - increased up to 10 times for current smokers in that age group. Those who quit smoking still had a higher risk of dying at any given age compared to those who never picked up the habit - 34 percent - but it was much lower than those who never quit.

Dr. Tai Hing Lam states:  “Many older smokers misbelieve that they are too old to quit or too old to benefit from quitting. Because of reverse causality and from seeing deaths of old friends who had quit recently, some misbelieve that quitting could be harmful. A simple, direct, strong, and evidence-based warning is needed.”

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