A new report shows that stopping smoking can make you live longer – no matter how old you are.
The study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine June 11, looked at the results from17 studies conducted in seven countries. Even the elderly live longer if they were willing to part with their cigarettes.
According to researchers, smoking is one of the 10 leading risk factors for death and kills 12 percent of men and six percent of women in the world. If current growth rates continue, one billion deaths from smoking, as expected, in the 21st century.
The researchers looked at studies that were located in a period of three to 50 years, and looked at any of the 863 participants in more than 877,000 people. One study found that 59 percent of non-smokers were alive at age 80, compared with 26 percent of smokers. Another study showed that those who retired before 40 years had the same mortality as those who never smoked.
The researchers also found that smokers who were 60 years or older were 83 percent more likely to die at any age than in the same age group who had never smoked. Some causes of death – such as cancer of the oral cavity, pharynx and larynx – to 10-fold increase for smokers in this age group. Those who quit smoking have a higher risk of death at any age compared with those who have never picked up the habit – 34 percent – but it was significantly lower than those who never quit.
However, for those who want to quit smoking, mortality was comparable to never-smokers more they stopped using cigarettes.
“These results strongly suggest that smoking cessation is effective in reducing mortality in older age, a proposal which shall be confirmed by intervention studies, ideally with actions specifically designed and developed for this target group,” the researchers wrote.
Weaker, but similar correlation was also found for those who are 80 years or older.
Researchers have suggested that even those who have smoked all their lives without negative consequences should be encouraged to quit smoking. Because the retirement age was pushed back due to the need to work longer hours, individual and public health burden of smoking-related diseases will increase, unless steps are taken to help people stop.
In a related article published in the same issue, Dr Lam Tai Hing, professor of public health at the University of Hong Kong, reminded the community that tobacco kills one in two users, and about half of teenagers who keep smoking will die from tobacco use – by a quarter middle age and one quarter are expected to die in old age. He noted that since some smokers, especially in Asia, could use the products as long as the United States or the United Kingdom, they may benefit from the termination of the program even more. Lam suggested that while the short, less than 20 minutes of the clinical intervention of health professionals may be practical, just showing them that one of two smokers will die from further use can work.
“Most smokers greatly underestimate their risks,” he wrote. “Many older smokers are misled, they are too old to quit smoking or too old to benefit from quitting. Thanks to reverse causality and to see the death of old friends, who have dropped in recent years, some mistake, that the output can be harmful. Simple straight, strong, and science-based warnings are necessary. ”