Smoking cessation improves longevity. Data obtained from the U.S. National Health Interview Survey and U.S. death records found increases in life expectancy among those who quit smoking, even those who quit later in life. The study found:
- Although life expectancy was shortened by more than 10 years among current smokers compared to never smokers, adults who quit smoking before the age of 40 regained almost all of those lost years.
- Smokers who quit between the ages of 35 to 44 gained 9 years of life.
- Smokers who quit between the ages of 45 to 54 gained 6 years of life.
- Smokers who quit between the ages of 55 to 64 gained 4 years of life.
Smoking cessation reduces morbidity and mortality from respiratory disease: Respiratory disease morbidity and mortality is known to decrease after smoking cessation, mediated through a reduced decline in forced expiratory volume in one second, a measure of lung function, even among subjects with established COPD.
Smoking cessation reduces tobacco-related cancer risk: Smoking cessation is well known to reduce cancer risk, although there is a considerable time lag before decreases in cancer incidence are seen. According to a study done at Oxford University and supported by the British Heart Foundation and the Imperial Cancer Research Fund, it has been estimated that quitting smoking before 35 years of age is associated with a greater than 90 percent reduction in tobacco-attributable cancer risk. The risk of lung cancer in individuals who use to smoke decreases progressively with the number of years of abstinence, but always remains higher than that of those who have never smoked.
Smoking cessation reduces the risk of stroke: The Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion in Washington, DC asserts that smoking cessation reduces the risk of both stroke and brain hemorrhage. According to the Nurses’ Health Study, the risk of suffering a stroke among female cigarette smokers’ declines soon after cessation, and the benefits are independent of the age at starting and the number of cigarettes smoked per day. The Framingham Study, involving both men and women, suggests that most of the benefit of quitting occurs within 5 years following cessation.
Smoking cessation reduces the risk of coronary artery disease (CAD): A study in the New England Journal of Medicine demonstrated that the risk of developing coronary artery disease could be reduced by one-half after one year of abstinence from smoking. After two years, the risk of CAD equals that of people who have never smoked. Among men who have quit smoking for at least five years, mortality from CAD decreases to almost the level of subjects who have never smoked. In the Nurses’ Health Study, subjects who smoked in the past had a 24 percent reduction in cardiovascular disease mortality after two years of smoking cessation. Furthermore, after 10 to 14 years of smoking cessation, the adverse effects on mortality from CAD resolve completely.
Smoking cessation reduces the risk of giving birth to low-birth weight babies: The centre for the Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion asserts that women who stops smoking prior to starting their second trimester of pregnancy reduce their risk of having a low-birth weight baby to that of non-smoking women.
Smoking cessation improving symptoms of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): The Lung Health Study, a project supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, showed that smoking cessation results in a significant reduction in the prevalence of cough, sputum production, wheezing, and shortness of breath in individuals with COPD. The beneficial effects in the reduction of the prevalence of chronic cough from smoking cessation occur within the first year of stopping smoking.
Smoking cessation reduces the risk of peptic ulcer disease (PUD): Individuals who smoke are more prone to develop ulcers in the stomach and small intestine, and their ulcers tend to be more severe and occur more often than those in non-smokers. Smokers with PUD who stop smoking experience an improvement in their disease in comparison to those who continue to smoke.
Smoking cessation decreases the risk of hip fracture: A study done at Harvard University and supported by the National Institutes of Health demonstrated that there is a 17 percent increased risk of hip fracture in smokers compared with non-smokers at age 60 years. Smoking cessation leads to a decline in this risk. The benefits of cessation do not occur until ten or more years following cessation and are partly explained by weight gain accompanying smoking cessation. Hip fractures contribute significantly to morbidity and mortality in the elderly.