Harvard Women's Health Watch

Still smoking? Study finds quitting has benefits at any age

If you're a smoker, there's a good chance your habit is going to kill you. One out of every two smokers will eventually die from lighting up, and people who currently smoke face an 83% higher risk of early death than nonsmokers. These are the harsh conclusions researchers came to after reviewing 17 different studies on smoking in adults ages 60 and older. Their results are published in the June 11 Archives of Internal Medicine. The upside of the study was that it's never too late to improve your health by quitting. Even smokers in their 80s reduce their risks when they kick the habit. If you've tried to quit several times before, or you're growing weary of nagging a loved one about his or her habit, don't give up. New quit-smoking techniques are making it easier to ditch cigarettes for good. Talk to your doctor about nicotine replacement therapies and prescription medicines that can reduce your urge to smoke and tame withdrawal symptoms.

To continue reading this article, you must login.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »