More Encouragement for Women to Quit Smoking - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

5/6/08

More Encouragement for Women to Quit Smoking

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We all know somebody like this...they try to be healthy, but there is a big problem. They smoke.

Leslie Miller, a smoker, says, "I feel like, a walking contradiction. I work out, I try to eat healthy, and yet at the same time I'm smoking cigarettes."

A new study should be encouraging for people like Leslie. A new Harvard study says that, even in women who have smoked a long time, it is not too late to reverse some of smoking's deadliest consequences.

Dr. Stacey Kenfield, of the Harvard School of Public Health, said, "For every major cause of death that we evaluated we saw reductions in the risk of dying." And Jeffrey Chapman of the Cleveland Clinic adds, "The blood vessels in your heart, in your brain which are harmed by the thousands of chemicals in cigarette smoke kind of heal themselves and rejuvenate in the first few years after quitting smoking."

Researchers at Harvard University looked at data from more than 100,000 women collected over a 25-year period and they found that those who quit smoking significantly reduced their risk of death within just a few years of quitting. And eventually, twenty years after quitting, most of the risks were equal to that of someone who had never smoked. 

The biggest and fastest decreased risk was for heart disease and stroke. Even the risk of lung cancer death was down 21% within the first five years after quitting and down 87% by year thirty. The study also found that the risk of death is much greater on people who start smoking early.

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