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Soc Sci Med. 1991;32(10):1151-9.

Life expectancies of cigarette smokers and nonsmokers in the United States.

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Population Program, University of Colorado, Boulder 80309.


This research employs the National Health Interview and the National Mortality Followback Surveys to calculate life expectancies by age and sex for white nonsmokers, former smokers, and current smokers in the United States in 1986. In general, life expectancies are higher for never smokers than for former smokers, and higher for former smokers than for current smokers. Heavy smokers have lower life expectancies than persons with all other smoking statuses; indeed, compared to never smokers, heavy smokers at age 25 can expect at least a 25% shorter life. Gender differences in life expectancies were found to persist even with the elimination of smoking. Differences in life expectancy by sex thus appear to be due, in part, to cigarette smoking, but also to occupational, environmental, and sociodemographic factors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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