Smoking is dangerous to one's health. But for smokers, they don't realize how deadly it is. If passive smoking can affect other people's health, what more for active smokers? Sax Institute in Australia has recently released a new study on the deadly effects of smoking and the results were alarming.
The Institute said smoking, whether light, moderate or heavy, cuts the smoker's life at least 10 years off. About two-thirds of deaths in smokers who participated in the study were found to be engaged in active smoking. The estimate was significantly much higher than the global population of 50 percent.
The study which lasted for 4 years analyzed the health records of over 200,000 people aged 45 and up who were participants at Sax Institute's study in Haymarket, New South Wales (NSW), Australia. This was conducted in collaboration with Cancer Council NSW and supported by the National Heart Foundation of Australia.
"We all know that smoking is bad for your health, but until now we haven't had direct large scale evidence from Australia about how bad it is," Professor Emily Banks, study leader and scientific director of the 45 and Up Study said.
Banks said smoking in Australia peaked in 1945 for men and 1978 for women.
The Australian Health Survey reported that 2.8 million Aussies aged 18 years and above (16.1 percent) smoked daily from 2011-12. The study also found that current smokers were three times more likely to die than people who never smoked.
Associate Professor and 45 and Up Study Co-author Freddy Sitas of the Cancer Council NSW said the risk of dying increased with more cigarettes being consumed each day.
"Even among less heavy smokers - those smoking an average of 10 cigarettes per day - the risk of death was more than doubled," Sitas said.
"People don't realize how damaging even light smoking is for your health - for cancer, heart disease, lung disease and a range of other conditions."
Despite these findings, Banks remained hopeful.
"The good news is that stopping smoking at any age reduces the risk; the younger you are when you quit, the better."
The 45 and Up Study aims to investigate a wide range of health issues facing Australians, which include blood pressure, heart diseases and diabetes. Banks and Sitas were part of a group of more than 450 researchers who used the study to learn more about health and aging in Australia.
They hope that with all the overwhelming evidence presented to support claims of smoking's detrimental effects to a person's health and life expectancy, smoking will finally be a thing of the past.
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