Is it profitable for someone who has always smoked to quit smoking after 60?

“My grandfather smoked a packet a day and lived to hundreds” – such a statement can sometimes be heard from lovers of tobacco smoke. It is better not to be fooled by such stories, and parting with cigarettes pays off at any age, including the elderly. The benefits are measurable and it’s not just about savings in the wallet – check it out yourself!

Almost everyone knows that it is harder to reach old age in constant company of a cigarette. However, not everyone can know that it is worth stopping smoking even during the autumn of life. According to the American National Institute on Aging, giving up smoking even at a late age:

  • helps normalize blood pressure and heart rate,
  • enables regeneration of nerve endings, which sharpens the taste and smell,
  • improves cardiovascular function, reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke,
  • improves the work of the respiratory system,
  • helps reduce the risk of cancer.

No wonder that parting with tobacco always extends life, even when the senior opts to quit smoking. Snus
You stop smoking – you live longer

Researchers from the National Cancer Institute at Bethesda analyzed data on 160,000 participants of the American NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study over the age of 70, including smoking history and recording deaths. The most important results after observation lasting 6.5 years showed that the earlier the subjects quit smoking, the lower the risk of death in the analyzed period, however, always quitting smoking had a positive impact on life expectancy. Here’s the statistics that show that during 6.5 years of observation among thousands of Americans aged 70 plus:

12.1 percent died participants who have never smoked;
16.2 percent died those who gave up smoking when they were 30-39 years old,
19.7 percent died those who gave up smoking when they were 40-49,
23.9 percent died those who gave up tobacco at the age of 50-59,
27.9 percent died those who quit smoking at the age of 60-69.

However, the percentage of deceased study participants who still smoked was 33.1 per cent.

– These results show that smoking cessation should be supported for all smokers, regardless of their age – emphasizes Dr. Sarah H. Dr. Nash, the lead researcher.

The earlier you start smoking, the more you lose in old age

Another important finding from this study is that in the NIH-AARP participating population, the younger age of onset of smoking was associated with an increased risk of death. In other words, the effects of smoking in youth on the risk of death later in life, even over the age of 70, have been observed.

– These data show that the age at the beginning and end of smoking, which determines the length of smoking time, are important factors that speak about the risk of death of US adults aged 70 and more – emphasizes Nash.

Heart attacks and strokes – the risk can be reduced

One of the reasons for the higher mortality among tobacco-loving seniors is smoking related cardiovascular disease. As the team from the German Center for Research on Cancer showed, people who smoked to a late stage of life, in this respect also pays to put down tobacco. Researchers conducted an analysis of 25 studies that included a total of over half a million people aged 60 or over. First of all, it turned out that smokers died of cardiovascular disease on average twice as often as people who never smoked (the risk also depended, among others, on the number of cigarettes smoked).

German specialists report, however, that five years after the last cigarette was smoked, the threat was clearly decreasing. According to the results obtained, even people who gave up addiction after the age of 60 benefited. Experts add, however, that the decrease in risk is greater the more time has passed without a cigarette.

– So it’s never too late to stop smoking. Even people from the group of the most advanced age gain significant benefits in the sphere of their health – notes the head of the work of prof. Hermann Brenner. – Many heart attacks and strokes, with all their serious consequences, can be prevented in this way – adds the scientist.