Starting smoking at a young age leads to premature death

If you began smoking at a younger age and still continuing, then you are at a higher risk. Smoking itself is a killer and accounts for more than a lakh deaths in the United States alone. A person who has started smoking at a young age and still continuing is thrice at risk of dying prematurely, according to a new study in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

As per records, about 25 million people smoke daily. This includes five million who become regular smokers before the age of 15.

The researchers came to the conclusion after analysing data collected between 1997 and 2014 from the annual US National Health Interview Survey. They went through the medical records, lifestyle habits and demographics of smokers and non-smokers. The researchers analysed data of 390,929 adults who were aged between 25 and 74. Of this, 56 per cent were women. The study did not include occasional smokers.

The Current smokers were grouped by the age at which they began smoking. Among them, two per cent started smoking before age of ten. Nineteen per cent started smoking between ten and 14. The study found that those who quit smoking at 40 years of age had a reduced risk of premature death from heart disease by about 90 per cent.

 Some findings:

  • people who quit smoking between ages 15 to 34 had same risk of dying from heart disease or stroke
  • people who quit smoking between 35 to 44 years had about 20 per cent higher risk;
  • People who quit smoking between 45 to 54 years had about 60 per cent higher risk.
  • people who quit smoking between 55 to 64 years had about 70 per cent higher risk of death
  • Current smokers had nearly three times the risk of dying prematurely from heart disease or stroke.



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