Tobacco Kills More Than Science Previously Thought

There are new numbers which not only confirm what we knew about smoking, but even worsen the picture. A recent four-year study (published in BMC Medicine) involving 200,000 men and women has concluded that two out of three cigarette smokers will die from the habit.

Previous studies found that approximately 50% of smokers die of smoking-related illnesses. Now, the statistic is up to 67%.

“We knew smoking was bad, but we now have direct independent evidence that confirms the disturbing findings that have been emerging internationally,” said Emily Banks, a professor at Australian National University. “We have been able to show exactly the same result in a very large population-wide sample,” Banks adds.

The Australian study, conducted by the Sax Institute, analyzed questionnaires and hospitalization records of 204,953 individuals between the years 2006-2009. Of those participants, 7.7% were current smokers and 34% were past smokers. 5,593 deaths had occurred by 2012.

“We found that smokers have around three-fold the risk of premature death of those who have never smoked,” added Banks.

The good news among this gloomy forecast is that smokers who quit before age 45 had their mortality rates drop back to levels similar to those of people who never smoked.