Parlor Spider...Step In, Little Fly

Insightful thoughts and/or rants from atop the soapbox from one who wishes to share the "right" opinion with everyone.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Adding Years to Your Life

Despite what tobacco manufacturers since the time of Sir Walter Raleigh may suggest, smoking will kill people. In addition to the various types of cancer, it can severely limit circulation and create embolism problems. Just ask my parents...oh no, you cannot since smoking killed both of them in their early to mid-70s. My dad once said that he'd rather die do something that gave him pleasure rather than live and be miserable. I have no idea whether or not he was happy at the end...he didn't LOOK happy.
Of course, the dangers have been long recognized, but now there is some definitive numbers attached to living longer without smoking. In an article in the most recent New England Journal of Medicine, researchers expounded on an experiment involving 200,000 Americans between 1997 and 2004 in hopes of determining how much longer one might live without smoking. The answer, of course, is "longer." Obviously. Some data from the study:

1. Non-smokers are more than twice as likely to live into their 80s as are smokers. Remember, 80 isn't all that old anymore!

2. While the number of smokers has declined by slightly more than 19%, there are still 45.3 million smokers in this country.

3. In 1960, the chance of a woman dying of lung cancer was a shade over two percent. Now? the chance has skyrocketed to over 25%. Men suffered a corresponding increase though the numbers were slightly different.

4. If a smoker quits in his or her mid-30s, life expectancy increases by 10 years.

5. A smoker who quits in the mid-40s gets an extra 8 years.

6. a smoker who quits in the mid-60s can look forward to an additional 4 years longer than if he or she had not quit.

Sobering facts, to be sure, especially given that we generally will live longer, healthier in general than our forebears did.
I want every second I can get, but since I don't smoke, I guess I'll have to keep going to the gym and stop eating chips!


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