How smokers can live longer at any age

A new study says that there’s a “ridiculously effective” way to reduce your risk of death and add years to your life.

You can do it at any age, and it works quickly.

And it’s proven by research.

So why not, right?

Well, it’s not quite that simple.

Here’s the “ridiculously effective” way to lengthen your healthspan.

Will you take advantage of it?

It’s never too late to quit

If you’re a smoker, even a heavy smoker, it’s never too late to quit.

If a smoker can stay away from cigarettes for ten years, they can hope to live nearly as long as someone who has never picked up a cigarette in their life.

Don’t believe it? Well, get this…

For fifteen years, scientists at the Center for Global Health Research in Canada and the Arctic University of Norway tracked the health of nearly 1.5 million adults living in these two high-income nations and analyzed that data with respect to the risks of smoking.

What they discovered was both remarkable and hopeful.

Not only can someone who quits for a decade hope to live as long as if they’d never smoked, but if a person of any age stops smoking for fewer than three years, they can potentially avoid five years of life lost.

“Many people think it’s too late to quit smoking, especially in middle age,” says public health scientist Dr. Prabhat Jha from the Center for Global Health Research in Toronto.

“But these results counter that line of thought. It’s never too late, the impact is fast, and you can reduce risk across major diseases, meaning a longer and better quality of life.”

The researchers found that quitting smoking reduced the risk of dying from vascular disease and cancer, in particular. Former smokers also reduced their risk of death from respiratory disease, but slightly less so, likely due to residual lung damage.

First steps to quitting

First, let’s talk about the wrong way to quit.

You may be under the impression that vaping is a safe way to quit cigarettes, certainly preferable to smoking.

You couldn’t be more wrong.

This ‘safer’ habit causes stress to your brain cells, ending in cell damage and cell death. Fewer brain cells means more brain aging and neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

But there are some healthier ways to kick the habit.

For example, in 2017, Canada’s version of the FDA approved cytisine, a naturally occurring compound, as a natural health product, meaning it’s available over the counter (unfortunately, cytisine is still not available in the United States).

But there are other safe options to help you quit, including counseling and medication. Read about some of them here.

Some people quit cold turkey, like my father did years ago. For others, a gradual approach is more successful.

The key is to find the method that works for you.

But studies have proven that, no matter how you tackle kicking the cigarette habit, it’s going to be less painful and more successful if you partner up with someone else who’s also trying to quit.

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Quitting smoking at any age brings big health benefits, fast: study — University of Toronto

Scientists Reveal What Happens to Your Life Expectancy When You Quit Smoking — Science Alert

Smoking Cessation and Short- and Longer-Term Mortality — New England Journal of Medicine

Benefits of Quitting — Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Joyce Hollman

By Joyce Hollman

Joyce Hollman is a writer based in Kennebunk, Maine, specializing in the medical/healthcare and natural/alternative health space. Health challenges of her own led Joyce on a journey to discover ways to feel better through organic living, utilizing natural health strategies. Now, practicing yoga and meditation, and working towards living in a chemical-free home, her experiences make her the perfect conduit to help others live and feel better naturally.