Individuals who quit tobacco even in their 60s can increase their life-expectancy, a study has found. In the study, the researchers found that only 27.9 per cent of those who quit in their sixties had died compared to 33.1 per cent of those who never gave up. The odds of dying among those who quit in their fifties fell to 23.9 per cent, while fewer than one in five who quit smoking in their forties died from diseases including lung cancer and heart disease. On the other hand, smokers aged 70 and over were more than three times more likely to die than individuals who have never smoked (12.1 per cent). This suggests that it is never too late to quit smoking, as people who give up in their sixties still cut their chances of dying, the study stated.
“The study shows that age at smoking initiation and cessation, both key components of smoking duration, are important predictors of mortality in adults aged 70 years and older,” said lead researcher Sarah H. Nash from the National Cancer Institute, NIH, in Maryland, US. Further, the findings showed that males smoked more than females (18.2 pack years vs 11.6 pack years) and were also more likely to have started smoking before 15 years (19 per cent vs 9.5 per cent of female smokers). Thus, the mortality rates for men were higher than women at each level of smoking use. For the study, the team reviewed data for more than 160,000 individuals aged 70. They completed a questionnaire in 2004-2005 detailing their smoking use, and reported deaths were tracked until the end of 2011. — IANS