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posted by janrinok on Wednesday February 28, @03:17PM   Printer-friendly

Quitting smoking at any age brings big health benefits, fast: study:

People who quit smoking see major gains in life expectancy after just a few years, according to a new study by University of Toronto researchers at Unity Health Toronto.

The study, published in NEJM Evidence, shows that smokers who quit smoking before age 40 can expect to live almost as long as those who never smoked. Those who quit at any age return close to never-smoker survival 10 years after quitting, and about half that benefit occurs within just three years.

[...] Former smokers lowered their risk of death to 1.3-fold (or 30 per cent higher) compared to never smokers. Stopping smoking at any age was associated with longer survival, and even those who quit for less than three years gained up to six years in life expectancy.

"Many people think it's too late to quit smoking, especially in middle age," said Jha. "But these results counter that line of thought. It's never too late, the impact is fast and you can reduce risk across major diseases, meaning a longer and better quality of life."

The researchers found that quitting smoking reduced the risk of dying from vascular disease and cancer, in particular. Former smokers also reduced their risk of death from respiratory disease, but slightly less so, likely due to residual lung damage.

Journal Reference:
Eo Rin Cho, Ilene K. Brill, Inger T. Gram, et al., Smoking Cessation and Short- and Longer-Term Mortality, NEJM Evidence, 2024. https://doi.org/10.1056/EVIDoa2300272


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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday February 28, @05:42PM (2 children)

    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday February 28, @05:42PM (#1346673)

    I'm no expert, but my limited exposure would suggest to me that hookah / bong based cool and water filtered "smoking" is significantly more lung friendly than the hot stuff full of heavy particulates. Filters take down the tar and other particle counts, but not so much of the temperature.

    The real evil in tobacco is the nicotine and what it does to developing (under 25 years of age) brains. It's still addictive for older people too, but not in the way it is if you feed your brain with it during your earlier formative years. Doesn't matter if the nicotine comes from burning leaves, vape pens, skin patches, edibles, injectables, whatever - once it's in your neurotransmitter soup it gets busy rewiring things to make you the bitch of your nicotine dealers.

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  • (Score: 2) by istartedi on Wednesday February 28, @06:51PM (1 child)

    by istartedi (123) on Wednesday February 28, @06:51PM (#1346687) Journal

    Think again about hookah [mayoclinic.org]. That report seems to put it mildly. I've heard others say that hookah is actually *worse* than cigarettes because of the flavoring, charcoal, or binders used in the hookah tobacco.

    Nicotine is just one of many compounds in smoke. The other things may not be addictive, but could cause more lung damage.

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    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday February 28, @07:53PM

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday February 28, @07:53PM (#1346699)

      Entirely possible, I'm going from the "if it feels harsh and you have to overcome that reflex to gag, it's probably not a great thing" viewpoint.

      Hookah/bong may well "stealth" the nasty particulates into your system, so you actually take in more of them than you would from a rolled up burning leaf.

      Of course, our urban exposure to diesel soot and all other manner of particulates (tire tread dust, anyone?) is also cooled for easy inhalation...

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