Smoking “stacks the odds” against living a long life, expert claims

The small number of smokers over the age of 80 proves that regular tobacco consumption hinders a person's chances of living a long and healthy life, one expert believes.

Dr Robert Giugliano, a cardiologist and lecturer at Harvard Medical School, made the claims after researchers from Yale School of Medicine released the results of a recent study on smoking and heart disease.

The findings show that a smoker's heart is likely to be in the same condition as that of someone 10 years older, reuters.com reports. This means they'd be lesser equipped to deal with the damage caused by a heart attack.

The researchers followed almost 14,000 people who had been hospitalised with artery blockages around the heart and found that those who regularly smoke are at a higher risk of dying within 12 months of being admitted than non-smokers.

Dr Giugliano says that the findings are in no way surprising. He was quoted by onlymyhealth.com as saying: "Nonetheless, the public does need to know that there is now even more evidence that smoking is bad for your health, accelerates the process of atherosclerosis (so smokers have heart and vascular disease on average 10 years early than non-smokers), and leads to worse outcomes compared to non-smokers of a similar age."