Elderly smokers lie about their habit, study finds

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Many older adults light up - but they don't like to admit it.

A total of 25% of people over age 75 deny that they smoke, said Monica Fisher, associate professor at the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine. That compares with 6% of 18-34 year olds. Researchers analyzed data collected from 15,182 adults who took part in the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

Researchers at the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine found that 8% of people will not tell the truth about their nicotine habits, even to their doctors. Additional measures are needed to validate who does or doesn't smoke, as false reports of non-smoking can have serious repercussions when it comes to treating patients, especially elderly patients with chronic diseases, researchers suggested.