A recent study found that quitting smoking before the age of 45 can significantly reduce someone’s risk of getting lung or other cancers with an 87% reduction in excess risk. Researchers also found that quitting by age 35 eliminated the excess cancer death risk altogether.
Smoking often raises the risk of multiple cancers, making the decision to quit an important one. A spokesperson for the American Lung Association, Dr. David Tom Cooke, emphasized that, despite these findings, it’s never too early or too late to quit smoking and to seek support.
Read more about the story below.
“The study was published this month in the journal JAMA Oncology. It looked at data on more than 410,000 Americans who entered an ongoing federal health survey between 1997 and 2014.
Around 10,000 participants died of cancer during the study period. And on average, smokers were three times more likely to die of cancer — most often lung cancer — compared with people who’d never smoked.
Much, however, depended on age — the age at which smokers both started and quit.
The younger people started smoking, the greater their risk of eventually dying from cancer. Among those who started before age 18, the risk of dying from cancer was increased at least three-fold.
When people started smoking before age 10, their risk of cancer death was quadrupled versus lifelong nonsmokers.
It may sound surprising, Thomson noted, but there are smokers who get hooked that early in life.
For people who pick up the habit at a tender age, “it’s imperative that they quit as soon as possible,” Thomson said.
That’s because overall, his team estimates, smokers who quit before age 35 wiped out their excess risk of dying from cancer. Meanwhile, those who quit before age 45 slashed their excess risk by 87%.
The outlook was also good for smokers who quit later. If they managed to do so between the ages of 45 and 54, their excess risk was cut by 78%, and by 56% if they quit between the ages of 55 and 64.”
Learn how IMI services can help you in life and make an appointment today.