Thanks to a new study, even smokers at a very old age have a better reason to kick the habit: they increase their odds to live longer. While numerous studies have provided evidence that smoking is more or less a shortcut to death, fresh data provides renewed hope.
An expert not involved with the study added that there will be a benefit no matter what, but quitting should be done earlier if possible.
The research combined findings of 17 studies from seven different countries that were published between 1987 and 2011. Participants were followed for 3 to 50 years.
Lead researcher Carolin Gellert of the German Cancer Research Center and colleagues found that smokers are 83% more likely to die from all causes compared to non-smokers who are at least 60 years of age. The odds decrease to 34% if they quit the vice for good.
Despite being at an older age, the data suggests that the chances of living longer would increase accordingly with the time a person decides to stop smoking.
Even if the findings are somewhat easily anticipated, they can help seniors put quitting into a more convincing perspective. And with such a value, “simple, direct, strong, and evidence-based warning” would be useful, said Dr Tai Hing Lam of the University of Hong Kong.
The study was available through the journal Archives of Internal Medicine.