Data from the U.S. National Health Interview Survey show that people who quit smoking, regardless of their age, are less likely to die from smoking-related illness than those who continue to smoke. Smokers who quit before age 40 reduced their chance of dying prematurely from smoking-related diseases by about 90 percent, and those who quit by age 45-54 reduced their chance of dying prematurely by about two-thirds ().
Smoking makes it harder for a woman to get pregnant. A pregnant smoker is at higher risk of miscarriage, having an , having her baby born too early and with an abnormally low birth weight, and having her baby born with a cleft lip and/or cleft palate (). A woman who smokes during or after pregnancy increases her infant’s risk of death from (SIDS) (, ). Men who smoke are at greater risk of (, ).
Nicotine replacement products, or nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), deliver measured doses of nicotine into the body, which helps to relieve the cravings and withdrawal symptoms often felt by people trying to quit smoking. Strong and consistent evidence shows that NRT can help people quit smoking cigarettes (). Limited research has been completed to determine the usefulness of NRT for people who smoke cigars. For help with quitting cigar smoking, ask your doctor or pharmacist about NRT, as well as about individual or group counseling, telephone quitlines, or other methods.
People who stop smoking greatly reduce their risk for disease and early death. Although the health benefits are greater for people who stop at earlier ages, there are benefits at any age.1,4,8,9 .