The Harmful Effects of Smoking Can Finally Be Reversed: The Surprisingly Rapid Effects of Quitting Smoking

Published by Cédric - Friday, February 16, 2024 - Other Languages: FR, DE, ES, PT
Article Author: Cédric DEPOND
Source: NEJM Evidence

It's never too late to quit smoking! This is the conclusion of a comprehensive study led by Canadian researchers, highlighting the rapid benefits of giving up tobacco, no matter the age at which this decision is made. The results of this research, published in NEJM Evidence, underscore the significant impact of smoking cessation on life expectancy.

Illustration Image Pixabay

Professor Prabhat Jha from the University of Toronto emphasizes this reality in a press release: "Many people believe it's too late to quit smoking, especially in middle age. But these findings challenge that idea. It's never too late, the impact is rapid, and you can reduce the risk of developing major diseases, meaning a better and longer quality of life." This statement stems from the analysis of data on nearly 1.5 million adults from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Norway, followed for fifteen years.

The study's conclusions reveal that smokers aged 40 to 79 years have a risk of death nearly three times higher than those who have never smoked, thus resulting in a life expectancy loss of twelve to thirteen years. However, these adverse effects are not irreversible. Quitting smoking before the age of 40 years can almost completely restore life expectancy to that of non-smokers. Even at an older age, quitting tobacco results in significant benefits. About half of these benefits are observed within the first three years following cessation.

The benefits of quitting smoking are numerous, notably reducing risks of cardiovascular diseases, cancers, and respiratory illnesses. Therefore, the authors of the study strongly encourage smokers to seriously consider giving up this harmful habit, highlighting that even quitting later in life is associated with a substantial improvement in health and life span.
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