Research: Smokers who quit before 40 reduce risk of death associated with smoking by 90%

WALTHAM, Mass. — One-of-every-4 deaths among Americans between the ages of 35 years and 69 years can be attributed to smoking, according to a study published Thursday in The New England Journal of Medicine. But smoking cessation efforts can help curb that trend, researchers noted. 

"Adults who had quit smoking at 25 to 34, 35 to 44, or 45 to 54 years of age gained about 10, 9, and 6 years of life, respectively, as compared with those who continued to smoke," the report noted. "Cessation before the age of 40 years reduces the risk of death associated with continued smoking by about 90%."

Researchers reviewing smoking and smoking-cessation histories from the U.S. National Health Interview Survey found that the rate of death among current smokers was about three times that among those who had never smoked. In addition, smokers on average died 10 years sooner than non-smokers on average.

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