Interactive Tool: How Does Smoking Affect Your Lifespan?

What does this tool measure?

Interactive Tool: How Does Smoking Affect Your Lifespan?

Click here to find out how much smoking affects your lifespan.

This interactive tool can be used to estimate the impact smoking will have on your lifespan. Based on the number of cigarettes you smoked in the past or how many you will smoke in the future, this tool estimates how many years the damaging effects of smoking may take away from your life.

Health Tools Health Tools help you make wise health decisions or take action to improve your health.

Health Tools help you make wise health decisions or take action to improve your health.


Interactive tools help people determine health risks, ideal weight, target heart rate, and more. Interactive tools are designed to help people determine health risks, ideal weight, target heart rate, and more.
  Smoker's lifespan

What does your score mean?

The damage caused by smoking varies from person to person. This tool uses an estimate based on statistical averages to increase your awareness of how smoking may be impacting your life.

This tool does not calculate the long-term impact smoking will have on the quality of your life and the lives of people you care about. The disabling effects of smoking-related illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, or emphysema can cause significant suffering and medical expense, regardless of whether they directly affect the number of years of your life.

How much time smoking takes from your life also depends on lifestyle choices other than smoking, such as eating habits and exercise. These factors may increase or decrease the amount of time your life will be shortened by smoking.

What's next?

Quitting smoking can be difficult, especially if you have been smoking for a long time. It may take several tries before you succeed. But even if you have a strong addiction, it is still possible to quit. And even if you have smoked for many years, quitting smoking now can still increase your lifespan and improve the quality of your life.

The best way to stop smoking is to get help and to follow a plan. You can increase your chances of quitting by using medicines, such as bupropion (Zyban) or varenicline (Chantix). Or you can use nicotine replacement therapy (gum, lozenges, patches, nasal sprays, or inhalers). Counseling (by phone, group, or one-on-one) can also help. And using both medicines and counseling works even better. For more information about how you can quit smoking, see the topic Quitting Smoking.

If you are not sure about your readiness to quit smoking, use the interactive tool Are You Ready to Quit Smoking?

Sources:

Doll R, et al. (2004). Mortality in relation to smoking: 50 years’ observations on male British doctors. BMJ, Published online June 22, 2004 (doi:10.1136/bmj.38142.554479.AE).

Shaw M, et al. (2000). Time for a smoke? One cigarette reduces your life by 11 minutes. BMJ, 320(7226): 53. Adapted with permission from the BMJ Publishing Group.

Doll R, et al. (1994). Mortality in relation to smoking: 40 years’ observations on male British doctors. BMJ, 309(6959): 901–911.

Credits

Author Bets Davis, MFA
Editor Susan Van Houten, RN, BSN, MBA
Associate Editor Pat Truman, MATC
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer John Hughes, MD - Psychiatry
Last Updated July 22, 2009

Last Updated: July 22, 2009

related physicians

related services

Bon Secours International| Sisters of Bon Secours USA| Bon Secours Health System

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Privacy Policy. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2010 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.