Female smokers may have new motivation to stop: a new study finds their risk of dying from lung cancer has gone up dramatically.
Dr. Tim McAfee is with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and is the director of the office on smoking and health.
"Whereas earlier, women died at 2 or 3 times higher rates from lung cancer. Now, they're dying at 25 times the rate of non-smokers."
Researchers found women now have the same smoking patterns as men. Women are starting earlier, they are smoking more cigarettes and a larger number of women are lighting up.
Another study finds that a smoker's life expectancy is 10 years shorter than a non-smoker, but there is encouraging news: if you quit before age 40 you get almost all ten years back.
"Even if you quit in your 50's, in your 40s and 50's you still get a substantial amount of that life expectancy back - 6 years plus," says Dr. McAfee.
One out of five American adults smoke according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That number is even higher among young adults.
Steve Roye has been smoking for 50 years.
"Two packs a day for most of my life, and then recently got down to under a pack a day."
Experts say cutting back is a step in the right direction, but it won't significantly reduce your risk unless you quit completely.
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