Q. I worry how much permanent damage my prior smoking and heavy drinking did to my body. I quit both five years ago. Will my past behavior affect how I age?
A. It's never too late to make healthier lifestyle choices. Some of the health risks of using tobacco and overusing alcohol begin to drop within days after you stop using them. To what degree does the amount and number of years of tobacco and alcohol use affect how long you live or the quality of your life is difficult to predict. It also depends on genetics, which we continue to explore.
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About the Author
Howard E. LeWine, MD, Chief Medical Editor, Harvard Health Publishing
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