October 14, 2013
Smoking Cigarettes Can Take A Full Decade Off Your Life
redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online
Two-thirds of all smokers die as a result of their tobacco-based habit, and lighting-up on a regular basis can reduce a person’s lifespan by a full decade, researchers from the Sax Institute in Australia claim in a new study.
According to a report by the Australian Associated Press (AAP), the researchers reviewed four years’ worth of health records belonging to over 200,000 Australians as part of the ‘45 and Up Study.' They found that smoking is directly linked to the cause of death in two-thirds of all current smokers – far exceeding previous global estimates of 50 percent.
In addition, the research, which was supported by the National Heart Foundation of Australia, found that a smoker’s lifespan will be reduced by at least 10 percent – whether or not people are light, moderate or heavy smokers, Janice Somosot of International Business Times reported on Sunday.
“We all know that smoking is bad for your health. But until now we haven't had direct large-scale evidence from Australia about just how bad it is,” Australian National University professor Emily Banks, lead investigator and scientific director of the 45 and Up Study, told the AAP. “We've been relying on evidence from other countries.”
“Even among less heavy smokers - those smoking an average of 10 cigarettes per day - the risk of death was more than doubled,” added 45 and Up Study co-author, Associate Professor Freddy Sitas, Director of Cancer Council NSW's Cancer Research Division. “People don't realize how damaging even light smoking is for your health - for cancer, heart disease, lung disease and a range of other conditions.”
Furthermore, Dr. Rob Grenfell of the National Heart Foundation told the AAP that smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in Australia, and is directly responsible for 15,000 fatalities annually.
The good news, Banks noted, is that kicking the habit can reduce the risk of death – no matter what a person’s age might be.
The results of the45 and Up Study are similar to those of an October 2012 Oxford University study, which found that female smokers who quit prior to the age of 40 can add up to an extra decade to their lifespan. Furthermore, the UK researchers reported that two-thirds of all deaths from smokers between the ages of 50 and 79 are due to smoking-related diseases, including lung cancer, chronic lung disease, heart disease and stroke.