Smokers, it’s not too late. Stopping is still an option to turn you healthy again. The earlier the better, though. Researchers showed that quiting before fourty gets you back almost the whole ten years usually lost by smoking.
Normally smokers lose around a decade of their lives. This doesn’t only mean they die earlier when old, explains researcher Prabhat Jha. It also means the good and healthy part of their lives lasts shorter. But quitting can help with this. Even if you stop smoking at sixty it can get you back four years.
The researchers of the University of Toronto studied a large (200.000) and representative sample of Americans and published their findings in the New England Journal of Medicine. They state that women and men are prone to the same risks when smoking and quiting could avoid these risks very effectively.
This is not to say that it’s safe to smoke untill the age of fourty, Jha notes. “Former smokers still have a greater risk of dying sooner than people who never smoked. But the risk is small compared to the huge risk for those who continue to smoke.”
To listen to Dr. Jha himself speaking about his findings, watch the following video.
Jha, P., Ramasundarahettige, C., Landsman, V., Rostron, B., Thun, M., Anderson, R., McAfee, T., & Peto, R. (2013). 21st-Century Hazards of Smoking and Benefits of Cessation in the United States New England Journal of Medicine, 368 (4), 341-350 DOI: 10.1056/NEJMsa1211128