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Women who smoke have heart attacks nearly 14 years earlier than women who don’t smoke, Norwegian doctors reported in a study presented to the European Society of Cardiology. For men, the gap is not so dramatic; male smokers have heart attacks about six years earlier than men who don’t smoke.

“This is not a minor difference,” said Dr. Silvia Priori, a cardiologist at the Scientific Institute in Pavia, Italy. “Women need to realize they are losing much more than men when they smoke,” she said. Priori was not connected to the research.

Dr. Morten Grundtvig and colleagues from the Innlandet Hospital Trust in Lillehammer, Norway, based their study on data from 1,784 patients admitted for a first heart attack at a hospital in Lillehammer.

Their study found that the men on average had their first heart attack at age 72 if they didn’t smoke, and at 64 if they did.

Women in the study had their first heart attack at age 81 if they didn’t smoke, and at age 66 if they did.

After adjusting for other heart risk factors like blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes, researchers found that the difference for women was about 14 years and for men, about six years.

Previous studies looking at a possible gender difference have been inconclusive.

Doctors have long suspected that female hormones protect women against heart disease. Estrogen is thought to raise the levels of good cholesterol as well as enabling blood vessel walls to relax more easily, thus lowering the chances of a blockage.

Grundtvig said that smoking might make women go through menopause earlier, leaving them less protected against a heart attack. With rising rates of smoking in women – compared with falling rates in men – Grundtvig said that doctors expect to see increased heart disease in women.

“Smoking might erase the natural advantage that women have,” said Dr. Robert Harrington, a professor of medicine at Duke University and spokesman for the American College of Cardiology.

Doctors aren’t yet sure if other cardiac risk factors like cholesterol and obesity also affect women differently.

“The difference in how smoking affects women and men is profound,” Harrington said. “Unless women don’t smoke or quit, they risk ending up with the same terrible diseases as men, only at a much earlier age.”

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, Women who quit smoking cut the biggest risks of death from heart disease “significantly” within five years and have a 20 percent lower chance of dying from related cancers in that time.

The study’s authors, led by Stacey A. Kenfield of Harvard University’s School of Public Health in Boston, analyzed post- 1980 data from the Nurses’ Health Study, a survey of almost 105,000 nurses conducted starting in 1976. The study will be published in the May 7th issue of JAMA

Researchers found that the risk of death was reduced by 13 percent within the first five years after quitting smoking, mostly due to a lower chance of dying from coronary heart disease, and dropped to the level of a person who had never smoked after 20 years.

“Our main message here is that the harms of smoking are reversible,” Kenfield said in a telephone interview from Boston yesterday. “For some causes of death, the reduction is much higher within the first five years. So it’s never too late to quit smoking. But we also saw a reduction in other diseases, so the message is that it’s never too late to stop even though you may have been smoking for many, many years.”

Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death across the globe, with more than 5 million people dying from lung cancer, heart disease and other illnesses annually, according to the World Health Organization. That figure may rise to 10 million a year by 2030.

Follow-Up Studies

The chance of dying from lung cancer dropped 21 percent within five years after quitting when compared with people who continued to smoke, although additional risk didn’t disappear for 30 years, the study said.

Former smokers who had quit 20 to 30 years earlier had an 87 percent lower chance of dying from lung cancer when compared with current smokers, the study said. The risk dropped to the same level as a person who had never smoked after 20 years for all smoking-related cancers, which include lip, mouth and stomach cancers.

The risk of death from respiratory disease dropped 18 percent within a decade after quitting, and approached the same level as a person who had never smoked after 20 years.

Unlike previous studies, the authors followed up with the survey respondents every two years to ask about their smoking status, which Kenfield said made the findings more accurate.

Other studies “did not see a drastic decrease in risk especially with people that had quit smoking for a long time,” Kenfield said. For chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer, “we saw a very nice decline in risk down to the level of a non-smoker over time.”


From time to time we come across sites that just blow us away in regards to  their efforts in helping all people try and quit smoking. We all realize that  getting people to stop smoking is the ultimate goal for all sites. So in that vein we present the following website. Become An Ex

What does it take to BECOME AN EX?

Tobacco addiction is complex, and over time it works its way into almost every aspect of your life. Digging it out will take some thinking, a plan and then effort.Being ready to quit means committing to it without any reservations. There can be no loopholes in the agreement with yourself, no rationalizations like “I’ll quit as long as I can keep my temper” or “I’ll quit as long as I don’t gain one pound.” You won’t make it if you hold on to any other thought except that of quitting and by using any means necessary.Being ready means being willing to align a lot of things in your life to achieve success in this one goal. For you, this could mean:

  • Trying a nicotine replacement medication like the patch or the gum or a nonnicotine replacement medication
  • Studying your smoking behaviors: learning when, where and why you smoke
  • Working with a “quitting coach”
  • Avoiding things you associate with smoking
  • Making some changes in your lifestyle
  • Finding ways to relax that don’t involve cigarettes
  • Getting some exercise
  • Asking friends and family for support
  • Making a comprehensive plan that fights the addiction on every front where it can attack you: physical, behavioral, psychological and spiritual

What is EX?

EX is a method of freeing yourself from addiction to tobacco. It was created as a collaborative effort between the American Legacy Foundation and the Mayo Clinic, specifically for people who are really ready to quit and are looking for a better way. If you’re ready to try, you’re in the right place.

What you need is a plan.

Our EX Quit Plan is a comprehensive approach, one that comes at this addiction from all sides: the physical, the behavioral, the psychological and the spiritual. All of these need to be addressed. In fact, we’ve found that the more personalized your plan and the more tools you have to work with, the more likely you are to succeed.

EX offers a variety of tools that will help with your quit attempt – a step by step Online personalized quit plan, a free EX Quit Plan book that you can order and follow on your own, or a toll-free number that will connect to state tobacco quit lines for free cessation information.

You can get started on the Online personalized EX Quit Plan by clicking on the link below.  If you aren’t ready just yet, you can take preview tour of the Online EX Quit Plan program.  We also encourage you to read what former smokers said about their experience with the Online EX Quit Plan


Here is a cool look back at how far the American Cancer Society has come in raising awareness of the hazards of cigarette smoking and why people need to quit smoking.

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