How Many Years Does Smoking Take off Your Life?
Many people still think that smoking is harmless, until they start dealing with the consequences. People fail to realize how harmful it can truly be. Cigarettes contain lots of toxic substances that can affect many organs in the body and cause serious diseases like cancer. But is there a way to know how many years smoking takes off your life?
It’s a simple fact that smoking can reduce your life expectancy. This unhealthy habit is responsible for countless deaths all around the world. But on top of lowering your life expectancy, smoking can also cause your body to age faster.
One recent study found that smoking can take up to 10 years off your life, impacting your bodily organs and accelerating the aging process.
According to figures from the World Health Organization, each year more than 6 million people die as a result of cigarettes, 1 million of whom are passive smokers.
A tobacco habit can destroy your overall health and, according to current figures, it’s responsible for more worldwide deaths than HIV, alcohol, and illegal drugs combined.
Why does smoking take years off your life?
Smoking increases your risk of heart disease, stroke, emphysema or chronic pulmonary obstructive disorder (COPD), bronchitis, lung cancer, esophageal cancer, pancreatic cancer, and skin cancer, among others.
A recent US study found that smoking can take off up to 10 years of your life expectancy. They conducted the study to determine the dangers of tobacco use and the benefits of quitting. It was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2013.
To carry out this study, researchers gathered data from nearly 217,000 adults in the U.S. between 1997 and 2004. The data revealed that a smoker has a mortality rate up three times higher than a non-smoker. Many of these deaths were the direct result of diseases linked to smoking.
The study found that non-smokers are twice as likely to reach age 80 as people who smoke. This means that smoking doesn’t just affect the elderly, but also the middle-aged.
The good news is that study concluded that people who quit smoking can also get back up to 10 years of their life. People who quit smoking between the ages of 25-34; 35-44; and 45-54 added about ten, nine and six years to their lifespan, respectively.
Is it possible to quit smoking?
Smoking is a difficult habit to give up, but it’s not impossible. When they try to quit smoking, many people experience cravings and other withdrawal symptoms that make them believe that it’s impossible to kick this awful habit.
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But with some willpower and a positive attitude, it is possible to quit smoking. It just may take several attempts. If you’re willing to give up this terrible addiction, consider the following methods:
- Cold turkey: This is probably the hardest method, but it also has the highest success rate. Quitting cold turkey offers the best results, and has the major advantage of immediately stopping the negative effects of smoking.
- Gradually quitting: If you don’t feel like you’d be able to quit cold turkey, try to gradually reduce the number of cigarettes you smoke a day until you get to zero. Try smoking half as many and reduce the amount you smoke day by day.
- Nicotine alternatives: Alternative nicotine delivery methods involve products that replace the high amounts of nicotine in cigarettes with smaller doses. They come as patches, gum, lozenges, and nasal sprays, to name a few examples. This method is good for reducing cigarette cravings until you experience none at all.
- Acupuncture: This ancient Chinese medical technique might help you control cravings. It’s relaxing and can really be good for you if you’re committed to quitting smoking.