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Sunday, January 12, 2014

Stopping Smoking Has Suprising Benefits on Life Expectancy

There is some very good news for smokers: it's never too late to quit. A recent study showed that quitting smoking at any age, regardless of how long you've been smoking, can have dramatic effects on life expectancy.

Researchers at the Center for Global Health Research in Toronto studied 113,752 women and 88,496 men between 25 and 79 years of age. They found that compared to people who never smoked, current smokers had a three times higher risk of dying from any cause and their life expectancy was 10 years shorter.

They also found that people who quit smoking between the ages of 25 and 34 gained back all 10 years of life expectancy they would have lost if they had
continued to smoke. Those who quit between the ages of 35 and 44 gained back 9 years, those who quit between 45 and 54 gained back 6 years, and people who quit by age 60 gained 4 years back.

No matter how old you are or how long you've smoked, quitting now can help you live longer.

Close to 90% of successful long-term quitters stopped smoking abruptly. The "cold turkey" method has been shown to be twice as effective as nicotine replacement therapy and medications that are taken to reduce cravings. Drugs carry side effects like constipation and insomnia, and nicotine replacement can increase levels of insulin and promote insulin resistance.

If you can’t quit on your own, talk to your naturopathic doctor about alternative therapies like taking botanical medicines to reduce your desire to smoke and help heal your lungs. Acupuncture and hypnosis may also be helpful.

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