Reduction of risk of dying from tobacco-related diseases after quitting smoking in Italy

Tumori. 2015 Nov-Dec;101(6):657-63. doi: 10.5301/tj.5000307. Epub 2015 Jun 12.


Aims and background: The aims of this paper are to compute the risks of dying of ischemic heart disease (IHD), lung cancer (LC), stroke, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) for Italian smokers by gender, age and daily number of cigarettes smoked, and to estimate the benefit of stopping smoking in terms of risk reduction.

Methods: Life tables by sex and smoking status were computed for each smoking-related disease based on Italian smoking data, and risk charts with 10-year probabilities of death were computed for never, current and former smokers.

Results: Men aged 45-49 years, current smokers, have a 8, 10, 3 and 1 in 1,000 chance of dying of IHD, LC, stroke and COPD, respectively, whereas women with the same characteristics have a 2, 6, 3 and 1 in 1,000 chance, respectively, for all smokers combined, i.e., independent of the smoking intensity. The risk reduction rates from quitting smoking are remarkable: a man who quits smoking at 45-49 years can reduce the risk of dying of IHD, LC, stroke and COPD in the next 10 years by 43%, 53%, 57% and 55%, respectively; a woman by 49%, 49%, 59% and 57%, respectively.

Conclusions: Estimates of risk reduction by quitting smoking are useful to provide a sounder scientific basis for public health messages and clinical advice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Lung Neoplasms / etiology
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Ischemia / etiology
  • Myocardial Ischemia / mortality*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / etiology
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / mortality*
  • Risk Reduction Behavior*
  • Sex Distribution
  • Sex Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects*
  • Smoking Cessation*
  • Stroke / etiology
  • Stroke / mortality*
  • Time Factors