Life after cigarettes: What JAMA study shows
There are risks associated with smoking, but they can be minimized — by quitting.
MINNEAPOLIS — According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, those who quit smoking go on to adopt a healthier lifestyle, which reduces the risk of death. Obviously, quitting is easier said than done — and is all about habit building.
The study of over 150,000 former smokers found that those who followed the recommendations for body weight, physical activity, and alcohol intake had a “27% lower risk of all-cause mortality.”
Dr. Neha Vyas of the Cleveland Clinic says quitting smoking is only one part of the equation.
“It shows that it’s not just about quitting smoking. It’s really about making these amazing lifestyle changes that will carry you through and really will lower your cardiovascular risk, cardiovascular mortality, and death from other things such as cancers and respiratory diseases, as well,” explained Dr. Vyas.
As mentioned previously, quitting for good is easier said than done. That’s why Dr. Vyas notes that it’s a process, so seek help if needed.
“It’s important to remember that it can sometimes take more than one attempt to quit smoking altogether, so certainly get support from your family, your friends, and healthcare professionals. There are many resources out there,” she said.
According to the CDC, tobacco is the leading cause of preventable disease in the U.S. As of 2020, 30.8 million Americans smoke cigarettes, which makes up a little over 9% of the country’s population.
The JAMA study does note that even after smoking, the risk of mortality is still higher than that of non-smokers. So the best thing to do is not start in the first place.