If you stopped smoking before your 40th birthday, you will be happy to know that you still have the time to neutralize the damage you have done to yourself. If not, you can expect to live about 10 years less than non-smokers. These are the findings of the recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, NEJM.
The sooner the better
Scientists from the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at Canada’s University of Toronto found that average smokers live about 10 years less than people who never smoked. But, the smokers can recover their life expectancy if they stop smoking before they are 40, and preferably much earlier.
The study was based on the analysis of smoking-cessation histories obtained from more than 200,000 adult participants. They were interviewed as part of the US National Health Interview Survey. Scientists then used death records to link the survey data to causes of deaths, and compared the risks for current smokers, and for those who had never smoked.
This does not mean that it is a good idea to smoke until you are 40, then stop and hope to reverse all the damage. Smoking killed 100 million people in the 20th century, and if we continue smoking, it is going to kill one billion in 21st century.
The study leader Professor Jha, who is an international governments’ advisor on disease control, believes that higher taxes are the most effective way to make adults stop smoking and to prevent children from starting.