Lifestyle & Belief

Quitting smoking by 30 can help women dodge risk of death, study finds


A woman smokes a cigarette in the pedestrian thoroughfare located in Times Square May 23, 2011 in New York City. A new study has found that quitting smoking by 30 almost eliminates early death risk.


Daniel Barry

Quitting smoking by 30 can almost eradicate the possibilities of death by tobacco-related diseases, according to a new study of 1.3 million women. 

Published in the Lancet, the study found that lifelong smokers died almost ten years earlier than non-smokers. It also found that women who stopped smoking by age 30 lost just a month of their life, and that quitting by 40 cut a year off their lives. 

In total, those women who kicked the habit avoided 97 percent of their excess risk of premature death, the Telegraph reported

Researchers looked at the first generation of women who started smoking regularly during the 1950s and 60s; this study is one of the first to examine the effects of lifelong smoking in women, who generally started smoking on a large scale later then men, BBC News reported

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The study surveyed women aged 50 to 65 from 1996 to 2001, asking them to fill out questionnaires about their living and social habits as well as medical histories. They took the same survey again, three years later, and were monitored by scientists for an average of 12 years, RTE News reported

"What we've shown is that if women smoke like men, they die like men," said lead researcher Professor Sir Richard Peto, from Oxford University. "More than half of women who smoke and keep on smoking will get killed by tobacco. Stopping works, amazingly well actually. Smoking kills, stopping works and the earlier you stop the better."

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