According to a University of Oxford study involving over a million women, quitting smoking by age 30 can significantly help the once-smoker avoid an early death. Those who quit by 40 can cut the risk by 90 percent.

The Million Women Study

The Million Women Study examined 1.3 million women in the UK, all between the ages of 50 to 65 between 1996 and 2001. All participants were categorized as current smokers (20 percent), former smokers (28 percent), or non-smokers (52 percent).

Other health factors such as medical conditions, lifestyle, and social factors were taken into consideration.

Just three years after the survey, smokers were three times as likely to die over the next nine years as non-smokers. The UK’s National Health Service provided information on causes of death of any participants. Two-thirds of smoking participants died from smoking-related diseases like lung cancer, chronic lung disease, heart disease, and stroke.

The intensity and frequency of smoking also affected participants’ health. Just 1 cigarette a day doubled the risk of death. Quitting smoking by ages 30 and 40, however, slashed risk of disease and death by a shocking 97 and 90 percent.

The findings are in the same vein as those published in a recent edition of the journal Cancer.

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