Smokers Lose 10 Years

But those who quit before 35 erase the lost life expectancy
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 23, 2013 7:25 PM CST
In this file photo, a woman smokes a cigarette during a break from work in downtown Chicago.   (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

(Newser) – Lifetime smokers can expect to lose about 10 years off their lives, according to one of the most comprehensive studies ever done on the subject. Other highlights from the research in tomorrow's New England Journal of Medicine:

  • Those who quit before age 35 get back those years of life expectancy, reports the Washington Post, though researchers stress that doesn't mean people can smoke up to that point without consequence. The risks for respiratory ailments and lung cancer linger.
  • Those who quit between 35 and 44 get back nine years; those between 45 and 54 get six years; and those between 55 and 64 get four years.
  • Women who smoke now die at a similar rate as men, reports USA Today. That's mostly because they're starting earlier and smoking more, explains AP. (Its first paragraph: "Smoke like a man, die like a man.")

  • Someone who never smoked was twice as likely as a smoker to reach age 80. Only 38% of female smokers lived to that age, compared to 70% of women who never smoked; for men, the percentages were worse—26% and 61%.
(Read more smoking stories.)

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