Spring 2013 Older1NEW RESEARCH: Smoking Ages You 10 Years

While your driver’s license might say you are 30 years old, if you’re a smoker, you’ve already hit the big 4 – 0. And that’s definitely not a good thing.

A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that smokers lose at least 10 years of life expectancy compared with people who have never picked up the deadly habit.

Smoking is the number one preventable cause of death in the U.S. It increases the risk of death from lung cancer, heart attack, and stroke by 200 percent. While most people associate cigarette smoking with breathing problems and lung cancer, it is also strongly linked to heart disease.

Smoking causes buildup of cholesterol, fatty cells, and plaque on the inner walls of the arteries. This can restrict blood flow to the heart, legs, brain, kidneys, and other organs. This decrease in the supply of oxygen-rich blood to the heart or brain can lead to heart attack or stroke.

 

Some Good News

The study also found that people who quit smoking by age 40 reduce their risk of smoking-related death by an astounding 90 percent! So if you are thinking of quitting— there’s no time like the present. Already over 40? You may not have as much to gain as the younger folks, but quitting anytime up into your late 50s will still have a positive impact on your health—and the way you feel!

Quit for Good

We’ve always told patients to quit smoking to avoid the negative consequences,” says Boerje “Bo” Axelsson, MD. “Now we have strong evidence that patients who make this smart decision can add years to their lives.” Here are some of Dr. Bo’s suggested options for kicking the habit.

  • Go “Cold Turkey”
    Not for everyone, but many claim it’s what worked best for themSum2013_Ask1
  • Gradual Weaning
    Reduce your smoking over time
  • Chantix
    Talk to your health coach about this popular non-nicotine pill option
  • Nicotine Patch or Gum
    Eases nicotine withdrawal, while eliminating harmful smoke

Talk with a health coach to discuss the best option for you.