Another reason to quit smoking

By • Published: July 18th, 2008
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

It’s not breaking news… cigarettes are bad for you. But if you’re a smoker clinging to that pack of menthols, here’s another reason you should think about making that next puff your last… If you kick the habit today, your chances of dying from smoking will have fallen significantly in five years.

So say the Harvard researchers who scoured decades of health data collected on one-hundred-and-five-thousand women in the Nurses Health Study.

The researchers found that women who quit smoking were forty-seven percent less likely to die from heart disease, twenty-seven percent less likely to die from a stroke and thirteen percent less likely to die, period.

About four-hundred-and-forty-thousand people die each year from diseases caused by smoking. Lung cancer and other respiratory diseases aren’t the only culprits. Smoking also puts people at an increased risk for heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure.

But by the time smokers reaches twenty years sans cigarettes, the risks of dying from these diseases are back to pre-smoking levels. With one exception. It takes longer to whittle away the risks of dying from lung cancer.

Five years after quitting, lung cancer death rates drop twenty-one percent. But researchers found it takes thirty smoke-free years to completely snuff out the link between smoking and lung cancer.

Ready to throw those cigarettes out with the ashtrays? Talk to your doctor. A health-care provider can be your guide in the quest to quit.

It might not be easy, but the results are worth it.