Finally, some good news for smokers: As long as you quit smoking by the time you are 40, you’ll basically be fine, according to new Canadian research.
Doctors have estimated that smoking takes up to 10 year’s off one’s life, but researchers from Toronto’s St. Michael’s Hospital suggest that smokers who quit by 40 can reclaim nearly all of that potentially lost decade, CTV News reports.
The researchers studied 16,000 health records from the U.S. National Health Interview Survey and the National Death Index of people who died but smoked at some point in their lives.
Researchers discovered that people who never smoked were twice as likely to live to 80 as smokers. But they also concluded that people who quit smoking between 35 and 44 regained nine of those 10 potentially lost years.
The later in life smokers quit, the less amount of years they regained. Smokers who quit between ages 45-54 got six years back, and those aged 55-64 regained just four.
“The most important message is that quitting works,” the study’s lead researcher Dr. Prabhat Jha told CTV. “Cessation of smoking at an early age — even up to age 40 — avoids about 90 per cent of the risk of continuing to smoke.”
Jha said that even smokers who quit are still at a higher risk for lung cancer, but the risk of heart disease “pretty much disappears.”
So, if you are between the ages of 18 to 40, feel free to stock up on those cartons of Marlboro Reds and smoke up! Just make sure you quit by your 40th birthday.