How long do I have to quit smoking until my lifespan goes up significantly?

Studies tend to look at risk of death ("mortality") rather than lifespan, but in those terms, the chance of dying decreases significantly within even a few years. One study showed a 13% reduction in risk of death from all causes just five years after quitting (almost 50% for heart-related causes!). Other studies have looked at the difference in the rate of decline of lung function, where lungs will improve from an increased rate of decline to a slower, closer-to-normal rate of decline within a relatively short period of time.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
The sooner you quit smoking, the more years you will add to your life. One study involving nearly 900,000 people determined that men who quit smoking at age 35 lived up to 8.5 years longer than similar males who kept on smoking. Women who quit at 35 added six to eight years to their lives.

However, even if you quit smoking relatively late in the game, you can still increase your lifespan. The same large study found that men who kicked the habit at 65 added up to two years to their lives. Women who quit smoking at 65 were even better off, increasing their lifespan by nearly four years, in many cases.
One year after quitting, the risk for coronary artery disease begins to decrease; 15 years after quitting, the risk is the same as that of nonsmokers.
Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine

You get one year of life back after three months of quitting, two years after five months, three years after eight months, four years after 13 months, five years after 15 months, etc., until you get all the years you lost back if you quit before age 35. Quitting later you still get them back in that date paradigm but you never get them all back.

Continue Learning about Smoking Treatment

New Info About Risks of Smoking Anything
New Info About Risks of Smoking Anything
We weren’t blowin’ smoke when we warned (over and over) about the health risks of smoking—anything! We know you want to kick the habit: Over 80 percen...
Read More
What should I do during the first month after I quit smoking?
In the first month after quitting smoking, use the following strategies to increase your chances of ...
More Answers
How effective is it to quit smoking cold turkey?
Univ. of Nev. School of Medicine, Family MedicineUniv. of Nev. School of Medicine, Family Medicine
It is very difficult to determine the success rate of quitting smoking cold turkey (or with any othe...
More Answers
What Are the Withdrawal Symptoms When Quitting Smoking?
What Are the Withdrawal Symptoms When Quitting Smoking?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.