Aims We studied the health consequences of quitting smoking before age 43 by time since quitting, number of years smoked and cigarettes smoked per day. The outcomes were all-cause, ischaemic heart disease and lung cancer mortality.
Design Prospective study.
Setting Norwegian counties.
Participants Men and women aged 40–43 years who participated in a national cardiovascular screening programme and who were followed from 1985 to 2018.
Measurements Self-reports from questionnaire on time since quitting smoking, years smoked and number of cigarettes per day, and measurements of height, weight and blood pressure, and a blood sample where serum was analysed for total serum cholesterol and triglycerides.
Findings The all-cause mortality rate was 30% higher among quitters less than 1 year ago compared with never smokers (adjusted HR=1.30, 95% CI 1.18–1.43 in men and HR=1.31, 95% CI 1.16 to 1.50 in women). Quitters who had smoked longer than 20 years had 23% higher mortality in men (HR=1.23, 95% CI 1.14 to 1.34) and 32% higher mortality in women (HR=1.32, 95% CI 1.18 to 1.49). Past smoking of more than 20 cigarettes/day was associated with HR=1.14 (1.05–1.23) in men and HR=1.16 (1.01–1.32) in women. The HR for lung cancer was 6.77 (95% CI 4.86 to 9.45) for quitting men who had smoked for more than 20 years compared with never smokers. The corresponding figure for women was 5.75 (95% CI 4.08 to 8.09).
Conclusions The mortality among quitters was close to that of never smokers, except for a higher mortality for lung cancer, which on the other hand was much lower than the lung cancer mortality in current smokers.
- harm reduction
- smoking caused disease
Data availability statement
No data are available.
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