Giving up cigarettes could have major implications for health even during old age, according to new research.
Study authors have reviewed 17 separate pieces of research drawn from seven countries and found that smokers were at a far higher risk of death than those who had given up.
Commenting on the findings, which were drawn from studies conducted between 1987 and 2011, authors noted: "Current smokers showed an approximately two-fold and 1.3-fold risk for mortality, respectively.
"This review and meta-analysis demonstrates that the relative risk for death notably decreases with time since smoking cessation even at older age."
Smoking is a known risk factor for several major chronic diseases, including heart disease, cancer and many more.
Recent research published in the American Journal of Psychiatry suggests that genetics may play a role in someone's ability to quit smoking.
Variations in so-called nicotinic receptor genes were found to be influential in smoking cessation, which researchers are hopeful will lead to more personalised treatments further down the line.
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