Mornings with Dave & Jen

Quitting smoking by middle age will extend your life
Quitting smoking by middle age will extend your life

Are you a chronic smoker?

There’s good news for you: people who quit smoking by age 44 tend to live nearly as long as those who never smoked.

Researchers from the University of Toronto analyzed health and smoking records collected from more than 200,000 Americans, then compared the lifespans of smokers to non-smokers.

One of the study findings was predictable: Those who never smoke live a decade longer, on average, than lifetime smokers.

But for those who quit…even well into middle age…there’s some encouraging news: Men and women who smoke their last butt before turning 44 die just 1 year earlier, on average, than those who never smoke.

Also those who quit by age 54 die just 4 years younger…a LOT better than the decade lost among lifetime smokers.

But (and you knew there was a BUT), don’t think of this as your green light to chain-smoke into your 40s.

Dr. Prabhat Jha, a professor of public health at the University of Toronto, says men who quit by 40 are still 20 percent more likely to die in a given year than those who never smoke because of the increased risk for heart disease, cancer, stroke, and the dozen other life-threatening health risks research has linked to cigarettes.

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