If the COVID-19 pandemic wasn’t enough to scare you into giving up cigarettes, maybe a new study from the American Heart Association will be. The researchers focused specifically on premature deaths resulting from cardiovascular disease, a leading cause of death around the world and something that is all but inevitable for those who have a smoking habit. As it turns out, smokers are far more likely to die early, some more others.
Smoking is a known major health risk, potentially leading to the development of many chronic health problems, including serious issues like heart disease, cancer, and stroke. There’s an obvious reason to quit smoking this year — the habit has been linked to an increased risk of developing severe COVID-19, a respiratory disease.
Here presenting another good reason to quit smoking is new research published by the American Heart Association, which found that smokers are three times more likely than non-smokers to die prematurely. This risk is highest among smokers who picked up the habit when they were younger than age 15.
Though the number of smokers in the United States has decreased substantially over the past decade, there are still estimated to be around 25 million people across the nation who smoke cigarettes every day. Of those 25 million people, the American Heart Association estimates that around 5 million of them picked up a regular smoking habit before the age of 15.
The study notes that premature death risk in smokers is surprisingly consistent across the world, showing similar outcomes for smokers — particularly ones who started in childhood — in nations ranging from Cuba to the US and UK, Japan, and more. The American Heart Association says that quitting cigarettes ‘significantly’ reduces one’s premature death risk, however.