What is the Average Lifespan (life span) of a Smoker?

We’ve previously discussed How many cigarettes does the average regular normal smoker smoke? and How Long Does Each Cigarette Take of or Knock Off Your Life? How Many Minutes or Hours?.

Now we can estimate the average lifespan of a smoker, of course it depends on how heavily the person smokes and their intrinsic chances of getting a smoking related disease such as cancer.

Smokers are killed, prematurely killed, dying commonly years before nonsmokers. Male smokers lost an average of 13.2 years of life. Female smokers lose 14.5 years of life.—NVSR 49, No. 3, U.S. Centers for Disease Control (6-26-2001).

You may (or may not) have heard of the famous 1938 data on death rates from smoking vs. nonsmokers typically living longer, i.e., not dying prematurely.

It is evident that at each age division, more nonsmokers remain alive. Fewer smokers are alive. Smokers essentially consistently die off earlier. This earlier death rate continues until the last age range, when few are left in each category alive (age 95), and the death rate approaches the expected 100% rate. To get to that last point, don’t smoke.

In a separate analysis, they found that a lifetime of smoking reduces the lifespan of the average male smoker by 6.5 years, compared with non-smokers. This means, the research team writes, that “each cigarette has cost him, on average, 11 minutes of life.”

Eliminating a full carton of cigarettes would buy the smoker an extra day and a half of life ” enough time to fly round the world, take in a Wagner opera, or enjoy a “romantic night away,” the researchers say.

SOURCE: British Medical Journal 2000;320:53.


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