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Smoking may decrease life expectancy by 10 years

Category: Cancer Detection and Tumor Markers

Recently reviewed research from the Life Span Study (LSS), which followed nearly 68,000 Japanese men and women for the last 23 years, revealed that chronic smoking may decrease a person's life expectancy by nearly a decade.

According to the study, which was published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), people who were born between 1920 and 1945 started smoking at a younger age and smoked more cigarettes a day, compared to past generations. These men and women who started smoking before they were 20 years old and with an average of 23 cigarettes a day had a twice mortality rate of those who abstained from tobacco use.

The source also noted that people who quit before they were 35 years old were able to avoid many of the health detriments associated with smoking, while quitting before 45 years old allowed one to avoid most smoking-related ailments.

Previous data has shown that Japanese smokers had a higher life expectancy than this study revealed. The researchers predicted that this is because previous research analyzed people from earlier generations who smoked less frequently and started smoking at a later age.

Smoking statistics
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), smoking-related ailments cause nearly 443,000 deaths every year in the U.S. This fatality rate is greater than combined death toll that results from HIV, drug and alcohol abuse, suicides, murders and car accidents.

People who smoke have two to four times the risk of developing coronary heart disease than those who don't, and are 12 to 13 times more likely to die from chronic obstructive lung diseases, such as bronchitis and emphysema, which can detected with a lab test. The CDC also reported that people who smoke have up to four times the stroke risk of non-smokers.

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