Student Life

Long-term smokers can expect to lose a decade of life

Long-time smokers who quit before age 44 might stave off some adverse effects.

According to a recent study in the Journal of New Medicine, a long-time smoker who quits between the ages of 35 to 44 will gain back about nine years of life.

Long-term smokers might reduce their chance of living to the age of 80 by half. The health detriments can be felt within months of lighting up that first cigarette.

Warren senior Cody Shintoski began smoking at the age of 17, following in the footsteps of his friends.

“I was actually the last of my close friends to start,” he said. “I wasn’t trying to be cool or anything, but I definitely started because of my friends. I saw them smoking, so I started lighting up, too.”

It’s even better for those who quit at a younger age.

People who quit smoking between 25 and 34 years of age gain nearly 10 years of life back compared to those who continue to smoke.

Six months after his habit began, Shintoski began to notice a change in the way that he felt.

“I definitely noticed negative health effects when I smoked just in how I woke up every day with phlegm and was constantly having to cough and clear my throat,” he said.

That means college-aged students who quit smoking now might not even notice a difference when it comes to later health problems and life expectancy.

The adverse health effects from cigarette smoking account for roughly 443,000 deaths each year in the United States, which is nearly one of every five deaths, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported.

Northville sophomore Nathan King said he started smoking three years ago but doesn’t plan on keeping the habit.

“I plan to quit smoking,” he said. “I’ve tried several times, and, each time I’ve tried, I’ve gotten closer to quitting.”

King said smoking has left him feeling less athletic and more prone to sickness.

“You should just throw your money away,” he said.

Tobacco accounts for more deaths than illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, human immunodeficiency virus, suicides and murders combined.

Eventually, after smoking nearly a pack a day for six years, Shintoski decided to stop buying cigarettes.

“Honestly, I was just broke one day and decided I wasn’t going to smoke anymore,” he said.

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