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Make your day: It's never too late to quit smoking

Apr. 20, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

Talking to an empty chair may be a sign that it's time for 82-year-old Clint Eastwood to stop smoking (he smokes in his movies, and even that's risky). Damage to the brain's vascular system is a major hazard from that nasty habit. But when it comes to quitting, it's never too late. He can make his day -- and add more days to his life as well.

If you're a longtime smoker, here's a short list of the better-health-right-now benefits of quitting!

1. Stop today and in 20 minutes, your blood pressure and pulse will decrease.

2. In 24 hours your chance of a heart attack begins to decrease.

4. Quit at 50? By age 65, your risk of heart disease -- and life expectancy -- is similar to folks who never smoked.

So take the smart steps that will help you succeed: Go to RealAge.com and search for "YOU can quit smoking plan." Now go ahead, and make your day!

Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic.