Background: The life expectancy is an important measure for describing health status among population. Several studies from the United States and Europe showed the harm of smoking by describing the life expectancies with different smoking status. No such study is examined in Japan, the country with the world's highest life expectancy irrespective of high smoking rate among men. Methods: The abridged life table method was applied to calculate the life expectancies of men and women among different smoking status from age 40 until age 85. Age-specific mortality rates stratified by different smoking status were obtained from follow-up data from random sample in Japanese population (NIPPON DATA80). Results: Proportion of current smokers was 62.9% in men and 8.8% in women at the baseline survey in 1980. The life expectancies of 40-year-old never smokers, ex-smokers and current smokers were 42.1, 40.4, and 38.6 years in men and 45.6, 45.9, and 43.4 years in women. The life expectancy of 40-year-old men who smoked less than one pack per day was 39.0 and was longer than that of those who smoked one or two packs (38.8) and more than two packs (38.1). Conclusion: Life expectancy decreased gradually as the grade of smoking increased in the Japanese population.
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