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Health of former cigarette smokers aged 65 and over : United States, 2018
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    Objective—This report describes select measures of health among former cigarette smokers aged 65 and over.

    Methods—Data from the 2018 National Health Interview Survey were used to describe the health of former cigarette smokers aged 65 and over by estimating the percentage with fair or poor health, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), four or more chronic conditions, and limitations in social participation. The health measures were adjusted for age, sex, race and Hispanic origin, and education and presented by the number of years that the former smoker smoked. The number of years smoked was estimated from responses to questions on the age the former smoker started to smoke regularly and how long ago they quit smoking cigarettes.

    Results—Among adults aged 65 and over, 49.4% of men and 30.6% of women were former cigarette smokers. Almost one-fourth of former smokers smoked for

    40 years or more. Controlling for sociodemographic characteristics, former smokers reported higher levels of fair or poor health, COPD, and four or more chronic conditions compared with never smokers and similar levels of fair or poor health, four or more chronic conditions, and limitations in social participation compared with current smokers. Former smokers had higher levels of fair or poor health, COPD, four or more chronic conditions, and social participation limitations as their years of smoking increased.

    Conclusions—Smoking cessation has been shown to be beneficial at any age. However, even after quitting smoking, the length of time a person smoked is reflected in current health measures among people aged 65 and over.

    Suggested citation: Mirel LB, El Burai Felix S, Zhang C, Golden C, Cox CS. Kramarow EA. Health of former cigarette smokers aged 65 and over: United States, 2018. National Health Statistics Reports; no 145. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2020.

    CS317352

    nhsr145-508.pdf

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