Smokers, who are in their 60s can increase their life-span by quitting tobacco and saying no to smoking, says a study. The researchers have found that , only 27.9 percent of the elderly who quit smoking in sixties have died, compared to 33.1 percent of those who never gave up smoking.
The odds of dying among those who quit in their fifties fell to 23.9 percent, while fewer than one in five who quit smoking in their forties died from diseases including lung cancer and heart disease.
‘Smokers at 70, are at three times greater risk for death than non-smokers and statistics show that male smokers are at higher risk for death than female smokers.’
On the other hand, smokers aged 70 and over were more than three times more likely to die than individuals who have never smoked (12.1 percent).
This suggests that it is never too late to quit smoking, as people who give up in their sixties still cut their chances of dying, the study stated.
"The study shows that age at smoking initiation and cessation, both key components of smoking duration, are important predictors of mortality in adults aged 70 years and older," said Sarah H. Nash, the lead researcher from the National Cancer Institute, NIH, in Maryland, US.
Further, the findings showed that males smoked more than females (18.2 pack years vs 11.6 pack years) and were also more likely to have started smoking before 15 years (19 per cent vs 9.5 percent of female smokers).
Thus, the mortality rates for men were higher than women at each level of smoking use.
For the study, the team reviewed data for more than 160,000 individuals aged 70. They completed a questionnaire in 2004-2005 detailing their smoking use, and reported deaths were tracked until the end of 2011.
The study was published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.