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Can't stop? Smoking less helps
Date:11/19/2012

ond interview, researchers noted whether an individual had increased, maintained, reduced, or ceased smoking during the intervening two years, with "increasing" or "reducing" defined as moving up or down at least one category of cigarette consumption within this range.

Unsurprisingly, quitters were the best-off in the long term, with a 22 percent reduction in overall mortality. Those who reduced their smoking by one category or more were seen to have a 15 percent decrease in overall mortality risk and a 23% reduced risk of cardiovascular mortality. In addition, the researchers measured the participants' survival to the age of 80. Quitters saw a 33 percent increased chance of survival to 80 years of age, and reducers a 22 percent increased chance.

Myers says that their study, one of the few to take smoking reduction into account, shows that reduction is certainly better than doing nothing at all. She credits the long-term follow-up period for demonstrating the effect of smoking reduction where other studies have not, because damage done by smoking, and subsequently the recovery process, has a long timeline.

Never too late

One of the important lessons of their study, says Myers, is that it is never too late to tackle your smoking habit. Participants of this study, who were on average fifty years old when the study began, were still able to quit or reduce their smoking, and see long-term benefits from their efforts. Though reduction is a controversial policy some health professionals believe it dilutes the message of cessation smokers should take any steps possible to improve their long term health, she counsels.


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Contact: George Hunka
ghunka@aftau.org
212-742-9070
American Friends of Tel Aviv University
Source:Eurekalert

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