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Women are picking up a bad habit that men practice and shaving years off of their lives. What's that habit? Smoking, and it has mores serious health effects for women compared to men, although smoking is bad no matter who's doing it. Two new studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine highlight the disturbing findings surrounding women and smoking.

According to the studies, smoking is linked to 200,000 deaths per year. Women and other minority groups are a greater risk of smoking, and women are about 25 times more likely to die compared to men and women who have never smoked. For example, if you're a woman who hopes to live to 80, your chances are about 70% if you've never smoked, but drop to about 38% for current female smokers. Male smokers have about a 26% chance of making it until 80 if they smoke. Naturally, causes of death of smokers are respiratory problems, lung cancer, heart disease, stroke and vascular diseases. But one of the recent studies also found that smokers are more likely to die of accidents or injuries.

The good news is that it is never too late to quit. Even quitting later on in life has health benefits, including tacking years back onto your life. We all know by now that smoking is bad for your health, but it is still a shock to learn that more women die of lung cancer than breast cancer in the US. Breast cancer and the ways in which to prevent or detect it receive tons of support in the media, as well it should, but smoking cessation programs may be our biggest weapon in the fight against smoking-related health problems and death amongst women and men.

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