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Smoking Can Cut 10 Years Off a Woman's Life

Study of Female Smoking Highlights the Benefits of Quitting

It’s Never Too Late to Quit Smoking continued...

Young smokers often feel they are invincible and that smoking-related diseases are things that can’t happen to them, but “the sooner you quit, the more benefits you will see.” 

Female smokers, in particular, may fear that quitting smoking will cause them to gain weight. The harmful effects of smoking far outweigh the risks associated with post-smoking weight gain. “You would have to gain 75 to 100 pounds to equal the health risks of smoking,” Folan says.

There are more tools available today than ever before to help people quit smoking. These include counseling, nicotine replacement therapies such as patches and gum, and other medications. “Set a quit date and try to prepare,” she says. “Stop buying cigarettes by the carton and only buy packs before the quit date.” Also let people know you are trying to quit.

Wallace Akerley, MD, is a lung cancer specialist at Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah Health Care in Salt Lake City. He says the study fails to address what the 10 years before a premature death from smoking look like -- and it’s not pretty. “If you are going to die 10 years earlier, there will be at least 10 years of debilitating disease before you die, potentially taking away a quarter of your life.”

The findings provide “a huge piece of information that should really shake people up.”

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