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It is Never too Late to Quit Smoking

It is Never too Late to Quit Smoking

(epharmanews)- It is never too late to quit smoking, a new study suggests. No matter when do you quit smoking, your chances of staying alive for longer will increase.

The study summarized the findings of 17 studies form seven countries: Australia, China, UK, Japan, France, Spain and the USA. These studies were published between 1987 and 2011 and the participants were followed up for 3 to 5 years.

"Even older people who smoked for a lifetime without negative health consequences should be encouraged and supported to quit smoking," say the researchers, led by Dr. Hermann Brenner of the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg.

Smoking researcher Dr. Prabhat Jha from St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto pointed to a British study, for instance, that followed doctors for half a century and found 59% of non-smokers were alive at age 80 compared to 26% of smokers.

Compared to never-smokers who are at least 60 years old, smokers were 83% more likely to die early. Risk of death in those who quit smoking was 34% higher than never-smokers. However this is much less than what it could be if they did not quit smoking.

In a commentary accompanying the German analysis, Dr. Tai Hing Lam of the University of Hong Kong said the findings show one in two elderly smokers will be killed by tobacco. "Most smokers smokers grossly underestimate their own risks," he wrote. "Many older smokers misbelieve that they are too old to quit or too old to benefit from quitting."

"This fact calls for effective smoking cessation programme that are likely to have major preventive effects even for smokers aged 60 years and older," German researchers wrote online in Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Prepared by: Marcell Shehwaro

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