'Quitting smoking is very important,' said Dr Rasmussen-Torvik. 'It's never too late to change, and if you make changes like quitting smoking and improving your diet, you can reduce your risk for both cardiovascular disease and cancer.' They come after German researchers announced last month that quitting smoking in middle age or beyond still has significant health benefits.Even lifelong smokers who gave up smoking later on in life still experienced a massive 40 per cent reduction in the risk of heart attack and stroke within just five years.The study followed nearly 9,000 German people aged between 50 and 74 years for ten years.
Professor Hermann Brenner and his colleagues from the German Cancer Research Centre were able to show that smokers were at double the risk of developing heart disease compared to non-smokers, but that former smokers were at almost the same low rate as people of the same age who have never smoked. Meanwhile, a Canadian study published earlier this year demonstrated that people who give up smoking by the age of 44 can live almost as long as those who have never smoked.'Quitting smoking before age 40, and preferably well before 40, gives back almost all of the decade of lost life from continued smoking,' study leader Professor Prabhat Jha.The researchers found that people who quit smoking between the ages of 35 and 44 gained about nine years and those who quit between ages 45-54 and 55-64 gained six and four years of life, respectively.