Smokers don't actually kid themselves that their death stick addiction isn't wreaking havoc on their health. It's not exactly a surprise that recent research found two-thirds of women smokers' deaths in their 50s, 60s, and 70s were caused by smoking. And even women who were light smokers (1 to 9 cigarettes a day) at the start of the study were twice as likely to die as nonsmokers. But the same study from The Lancet journal also identified a somewhat lucky "loophole" for at least female smokers ...
Apparently, if women quit before they reach 40, they may avoid more than 90 percent of the added risk of early death caused by smoking. Before 30, they'll avoid 97 percent of that increased risk. That means quitters in this age group -- men, too -- might be able to tack the 10 years back onto their life that smoking usually takes off. Awesome!
You'd think this news would really motivate people to stop smoking, but I'm not so sure ... Call me cynical, but I wouldn't be surprised if some people took this news as a perfectly good excuse to keep on smoking right on up to the time they're on the brink of 40!
Hey, it's not as crazy as it sounds. When it comes to nicotine addiction, some people will use anything as an excuse. I know from personal experience, with two parents near and over 60 who have perpetually laughed off the idea of quitting ... until recently. I'm hoping they take their latest effort to quit more seriously than past attempts. I'm hoping they are starting to realize they could have their first grandchild in the next few years, and they want to be as healthy grandparents.
Looking at this new research, yeah, I'm aggravated they didn't quit sooner. But "loophole" or not, science has shown again and again how smoking chips away at your life -- whether it be the length of it or quality of it or both. So no matter how old someone is when they do it, the case for quitting ASAP couldn't be stronger.
What do you think of this study?
Image via Jose Fernandes Jr./Flickr