While we all know by now that smoking is hazardous to our health, more than 40 million Americans still smoke.
In fact, smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S., according to the CDC–and the same is true in Europe. There’s no doubt about it: prolonged periods of smoking take years off your life, especially for those older in age.
Still, many aging adults and seniors have been smoking for decades, some living well into their 70s, 80s, and even 90s. To better determine just how smoking affects a person’s longevity, a new British study looked at men aged 66-97, and found that, on average, a smoker who makes it to 70 loses four years of his life.
In the study, researchers examined information from 7,000 senior men from 1997-2012. Over that period of time, 5,000 of the men died, with deaths of smokers being about 50 percent more likely than those who didn’t smoke due to factors like vascular disease, cancer, and respiratory diseases.
For the men in the study who had survived to age 70, the average life expectancy was 18 years for those who had never smoked regularly. It was 16 years for those who had quit smoking before 70, and 14 years in men who still smoked at age 70.
This just goes to show that quitting smoking is always beneficial to a person’s health, no matter his (or her) age. The proof is in the research–you’ll feel better and live longer if you don’t smoke. If you or your elderly loved one still has that nasty habit of smoking, perhaps now is a good time to once again try to quit for good.
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