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Friday, October 26, 2012

STUB IT OUT Quit smoking before 40 and gain 10 years of life, study says

New Delhi: Indian women can live 10 years longer if they quit smoking before their 40th birthday. The largest-ever study on hazards of smoking and benefits of quitting for women has shown that female smokers lose at least 10 years of lifespan, but stopping before they turn 40 avoids more than 90% of the increased risk of dying caused by continuing to smoke. And, quitting before they turn 30 avoids over 97% of the risk. 

    The author of the study, Sir Richard Peto from the University of Oxford, said, "If women smoke like men, they die like men — but, whether they are men or women, smokers who stop before reaching middle age will on average gain about an extra 10 years of life." 
    Sir Peto collaborated closely with Indian medical researchers in 2008, and co-authored a landmark study showing that during the 2010s there would be a million deaths a year from smoking in India. He added, "Our new study shows that if Indian men or women stop smoking before age 40, and preferably well be
fore 40, then they will gain about an extra 10 years of life expectancy — and, stopping earlier is even better." 
    Smoking is eight times more prevalent among Indian men than women. But interestingly, an average Indian female smoker puffs away more cigarettes per day (7) than a male (6.1). Also, an average woman in India is taking up smoking as early as 17.5 years of age as against 18.8 years among men. 
    Dr K Srinath Reddy, president of the Public Health Foundation of India, said while tobacco use among men has dipped from 51% to 48%, it has actually doubled among women — from 10% to 20%. "Women and girls are the new target of tobacco companies," Dr Reddy added.

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