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Quitting smoking before 40 can add 10 years to life expectancy
Quitting smoking before 40 can add 10 years to life expectancy

(January 23, 2013 - Insidermedicine)

From Toronto - People who quit smoking before the age of 40 can live almost as long as those who never smoked, according to a report published in the NEJM. Researchers from St. Michael's Hospital reviewed data on over 200,000 individuals over the age of 25. Participants were interviewed for the US National Health Interview Survey between 1997 and 2004. Researchers linked the data from this study to nearly 16,000 smoking-related deaths. Results showed that:
    -Current smokers had 3x higher death rates from any cause than non-smokers   
    -Life expectancy among current smokers was 10 years shorter than never smokers   
    -Those who quit smoking before age 34 gained 10 years of life expectancy
    -Those who quit smoking from 35-44 gained 9 years   
    -Those who quit from 45-54 gained 6 years
Overall, the researchers found that quitting before the age of 40 reduces risk of dying from continued smoking by 90%.

We spoke with Dr. Prabhat Jha, MD, principal investigator of this study, who offered some further insight.