New research has shown that women who quit smoking before they turn thirty live ten years longer than women who continue to smoke in middle-age.
British research found that women who smoked until they were 30 were 1.2 times more likely to die over a 12-year period compared to those who never smoked.
Women who stopped smoking after turning 30 were able to avoid 97 per cent excess risk of dying from the damage caused by the bad habit.
Researchers analysed over one million women born in the 1940s to reach their conclusion.
Sir Richard Peto of Oxford University told NBC news: “Women born around 1940 were the first generation in which many smoked substantial numbers of cigarettes throughout adult life.
Women who quit smoking before their 30th birthday live a decade longer
“Hence, only in the 21st century could we observe directly the full effects of prolonged smoking, and of prolonged cessation, on premature mortality among women,” he said.
The survey’s participants were enrolled in the study at the age of 55 and followed from the years 1996 to 2011.
They completed a questionnaire about their lifestyle, medical and social factors and they were re-questioned three years later.
Throughout the twelve-year study 66,000 women died.
At the beginning of the study, 20 per cent of the participants smoked, 28 per cent were ex-smokers and 52 per cent never smoked.
Mortality among the study’s participants was caused mainly by diseases associated with smoking, such as lung cancer.