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(reply to Anonymous)

What you most likely are referring to is that after 15 years of quitting smoking, "the risk of coronary heart disease is the same as a non-smoker's", which is great, indeed!

However, this is just one piece of the puzzle. After 10 years of quitting smoking, the lung cancer death rate "is about half of that of a person who continues to smoke", and "risks of other cancers (mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, cervix, pancreas) decreases, too", but are not as low/equal to that of a person who has never smoked.

Unfortunately, once someone quits smoking, after years of smoking, their risk factors for most diseases, including decreased life expectancy, is still higher than than of a non-smoker. The only statistic that does suggest someone is "golden" as far as being a regular smoker and then quitting...and being as healthy as a person that never smoked before...is only related to coronary heart disease after 15 years of quitting. Otherwise, all other risk factors and health conditions are still at an increased risk, unfortunately.

U.S. Surgeon General's Report, 1990
American Cancer Society (ACS), Accessed 2010

January 10, 2010 - 7:49pm


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