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This interactive tool can be used to estimate the impact smoking
will have on your lifespan. Based on the number of cigarettes you smoked in the
past or how many you will smoke in the future, this tool estimates how many
years the damaging effects of smoking may take away from your life.
The damage caused by
smoking varies from person to person. This tool uses an estimate based on
statistical averages to increase your awareness of how smoking may be impacting
This tool does not calculate the long-term impact
smoking will have on the quality of your life and the lives of people you care
about. The disabling effects of smoking-related illnesses such as heart
disease, cancer, or emphysema can cause significant suffering and medical
expense, regardless of whether they directly affect the number of years of your
How much time smoking takes from your life also depends on
lifestyle choices other than smoking, such as eating habits and exercise. These
things may increase or decrease the amount of time your life will be shortened
Quitting smoking can be difficult,
especially if you have been smoking for a long time. It may take several tries
before you succeed. But even if you have a strong dependence on nicotine, it is still
possible to quit. And even if you have smoked for many years, quitting smoking
now can still increase your lifespan and improve the quality of your
The best way to stop smoking is to get help and to
follow a plan. You can increase
your chances of quitting if you:
Taking medicine and getting counseling works even better for quitting smoking.
If you are not sure
about your readiness to quit smoking, use the interactive tool
Are You Ready to Quit Smoking?
Other Works Consulted
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (1994). Surveillance for selected tobacco-use behaviors—United States, 1900–1994.
MMWR, 43(SS-3): 1–43. Also available online: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/ss/ss4303.pdf.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2002). Annual smoking-attributable mortality, years of potential life lost, and economic costs—United States, 1995–1999. MMWR, 51(14): 300–303. Also available online: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5114a2.htm.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Center for Health Statistics (2009). Table 26. Life expectancy at birth, at 65 years of age, and at 75 years of age, by race and sex. In Health, United States, 2008 With Chartbook, p. 203.
Current as of:
January 16, 2014
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
& John Hughes, MD - Psychiatry
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
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