One more coffee, one more cigarette. One more morning, trying to forget. | Bob Thomas/Getty Images
Older people who smoke may think there’s no reason to give up the habit. After all, hasn’t the damage to their bodies already been done?
But it turns out there’s a benefit to quitting even later in life. Research published Wednesday in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine finds that older adults who quit smoking in their 60s had a lower chance of dying in the years that followed than contemporaries who kept smoking.
“It’s never too late,” says Sarah Nash, an epidemiologist and one of the study’s authors.
The results are based on data from more than 160,000 participants older than 70 who were part of the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study. Participants completed questionnaires about their smoking history in 2004 or 2005 and were tracked until the end of 2011 to see who had died.
The study found that it’s definitely best to avoid smoking entirely. During the follow-up period, 12 percent of participants who never smoked died, compared to 33 percent of current smokers. And the earlier people quit the better, but there was still a benefit even for late quitters. Of those who quit in their 30s, 16 percent died. In their 40s: 20 percent. In their 50s: 24 percent. And in their 60s: 28 percent.
Still, people who quit in their 60s had a 23 percent lower risk of death during the study than current smokers, says Nash, who conducted the research while she was a fellow at the National Cancer Institute.
Over half of all American states have taken some steps to legalise marijuana, a move The Economist has argued for since 1989. There is now a burgeoning industry being shaped by a new generation of cannabis capitalists.
The head of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) on Tuesday declined to endorse a candidate ahead of Wednesday’s leadership contest between Reps. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Tim Ryan (D-Ohio).
Rep. G.K. Butterfield
(D-N.C.), emerging from an hours-long closed-door meeting of the CBC in the Capitol, said he’s “not authorized to make a statement at all.”
“If I could I would,” Butterfield said. “I’ll get in trouble if I make a statement.”
The remarks are a steep departure from Butterfield’s comments earlier in the month, when the CBC chairman offered a strong endorsement of Pelosi.
“I’m going to vote for Nancy Pelosi, that’s for sure,” Butterfield said at the time. “I think she’s been a great leader, and I’m going to continue to support her. But if someone wants to run against her, it would not offend me, because that’s the way a caucus operates.”
Days later, Ryan launched his long-shot challenge, which hinges largely on the notion that Pelosi’s leadership strategy has failed, over four straight cycles, to return control of the House to the minority Democrats. Ryan and his supporters say the Democrats need a shakeup at the very top to bring younger faces and new ideas into the leadership fold.
The director of the CIA has warned US President-elect Donald Trump that ending the Iran nuclear deal would be “disastrous” and “the height of folly”.
In a BBC interview, John Brennan also advised the new president to be wary of Russia’s promises, blaming Moscow for much of the suffering in Syria.
In his campaign, Mr Trump threatened to scrap the Iran deal and also hinted at working more closely with Russia.
Mr Brennan will step down in January after four years leading the CIA.
In the first interview by a CIA director with the British media, John Brennan outlined a number of areas where he said the new administration needed to act with “prudence and discipline” – these included the language used regarding terrorism, relations with Russia, the Iran nuclear deal and the way in which the CIA’s own covert capabilities were employed.
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A young boy mourns the team at their stadium in Chapeco – many more have gathered outside
Top football sides pay tribute to a Brazilian team which lost most of its players in a plane crash.
Source: Chapecoense plane crash: Football rallies around Brazilian team – BBC News