ANCHOR LEAD: EVEN LONG TERM SMOKERS CAN REAP BENEFITS FROM STOPPING SMOKING, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Smoking cessation has immediate benefits, but now a new study helps define health improvements after five years and long term. Roger Blumenthal, director of the Cicarrone Center for Preventive Cardiology at Johns Hopkins, describes the findings.
BLUMENTHAL: Women who stop smoking certainly reap significant health benefits within five years. It certainly takes decades to correct damage to the respiratory tract and also the long term risk of lung cancer still persists, though there still is a decreased risk of lung cancer after a person has stopped smoking. In this particular study those who stopped smoking had nearly a fifteen percent reduction in the risk of death from all causes in the first five years, and after twenty years the risk of death was nearly the same for those who quit versus those who had never smoked. :33
The study seems to refute earlier evidence that increased cancer risk even among those who quit persisted for a lifetime. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.