The life-changing health benefits of quitting smoking

Credit: Unsplash+.

Quitting smoking is one of the best decisions someone can make for their health, and it’s never too late to start.

Researchers from the University of Toronto and Unity Health Toronto have discovered that stopping smoking can lead to a much longer life, and the benefits kick in much faster than many might think.

The research, shared in NEJM Evidence, tells us that people who stop smoking before they turn 40 have the chance to live nearly as long as those who never picked up a cigarette.

Even more encouraging is the finding that regardless of when a person quits, they can almost catch up to the life expectancy of non-smokers within ten years of quitting.

Impressively, about half of the health benefits of quitting smoking can be seen as soon as three years after stopping.

Prabhat Jha, a professor and leading figure in public health research, emphasized how quitting smoking is incredibly effective at reducing the risk of dying from various diseases. His enthusiasm is clear: quitting smoking works wonders, and it works fast.

The study involved following 1.5 million adults from four different countries – the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Norway – over a period of fifteen years.

What they found was stark: smokers in their 40s to 70s were three times more likely to die earlier than non-smokers, often losing about 12 to 13 years of life.

However, those who had quit smoking lowered their risk of early death significantly, only having a 30 percent higher risk compared to non-smokers.

This shows that quitting can add up to six years to a person’s life expectancy, even if they quit for just a few years.

This is especially meaningful because many believe it’s too late to quit if they’re middle-aged. But this study proves that belief wrong.

Quitting smoking can lead to a longer and healthier life, reducing the risk of serious illnesses like heart disease and cancer. Though quitting later in life can’t undo all the damage to the lungs, it still lowers the risk of dying from lung diseases.

With millions of smokers worldwide, and smoking being a leading cause of preventable death, this information could not come at a more crucial time.

The global smoking rate has dropped significantly since 1990, yet smoking remains a massive health challenge.

Jha urges governments to take action to help people quit smoking, pointing out the effectiveness of increasing taxes on cigarettes and offering support for those who want to quit.

In countries like Canada, raising cigarette taxes and providing resources like helplines and cessation programs can make a big difference. Health professionals play a critical role too. T

hey can offer support and encouragement to quit, without judgment, acknowledging the addictive nature of cigarettes.

This study sends a powerful message: quitting smoking offers a new lease on life. It’s a chance for a healthier, longer future, no matter when you start.

If you care about wellness, please read studies about how ultra-processed foods and red meat influence your longevity, and why seafood may boost healthy aging.

For more information about wellness, please see recent studies that olive oil may help you live longer, and vitamin D could help lower the risk of autoimmune diseases.

The research findings can be found in NEJM Evidence.

Copyright © 2024 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.