Study: Smoking-related deaths among women higher than ever

"Women who smoke like men die like men," researchers wrote

Topics: Smoking, Health, Cigarettes, tobacco, Big Tobacco, ,

Study: Smoking-related deaths among women higher than ever (Credit: iStockphoto/2StockMedia)

A new study has found that women who smoke are more likely to die from lung cancer now than ever before.

The research was published in Thursday’s New England Journal of Medicine, and is one of the most comprehensive looks ever at long-term effects of smoking.

The risk of death from lung cancer has been rising steadily since the 1960s, when female smokers were 2.7 times more likely to die from the disease compared with women who didn’t smoke. By the 1980s, women who smoked were 12.6 times more likely to die from lung cancer, and in the 2000s, they were 25.7 times more likely to die, according to the study.

Because lung cancer takes years to develop, researchers believe the dramatic increase in death rates reflects changes in smoking patterns among women that began in the 1960s. (Thanks, “Mad Men.”)

The study’s findings also reveal other smoking-related risks unique to women.



The chances that a woman will live to 80 years old is 70 percent for those who never smoked and 38 percent for smokers. In men, the numbers were 61 percent and 26 percent. Women are also far less likely to quit smoking than men are. Among people 65 to 69, the ratio of former to current smokers is 4-to-1 for men and 2-to-1 for women, the study found.

Scientists have made very little progress against lung cancer compared with other forms of the disease, and it remains the leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide. “More women die of lung cancer than of breast cancer. But there is no ‘race for the cure’ for lung cancer,” Dr. Steven A. Schroeder of the University of California, San Francisco, wrote in a commentary in the journal.

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at kmcdonough@salon.com.

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 11
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Rose Jay via Shutterstock

    Most popular dog breeds in America

    Labrador Retriever

    These guys are happy because their little brains literally can't grasp the concept of global warming.

    Hysteria via Shutterstock

    Most popular dog breeds in America

    German Shepherd

    This momma is happy to bring her little guy into the world, because she doesn't know that one day they'll both be dead.

    Christian Mueller via Shutterstock

    Most popular dog breeds in America

    Golden Retriever

    I bet these guys wouldn't be having so much fun if they knew the sun was going to explode one day.

    WilleeCole Photography via Shutterstock

    Most popular dog breeds in America

    Bulldog

    This dude thinks he's tough, but only because nobody ever told him about ISIS.

    Soloviova Liudmyla via Shutterstock

    Most popular dog breeds in America

    Beagle

    This little lady is dreaming about her next meal-- not Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

    Labrador Photo Video via Shutterstock

    Most popular dog breeds in America

    Yorkshire Terrier

    This trusting yorkie has never even heard the name "Bernie Madoff."

    Pavla via Shutterstock

    Most popular dog breeds in America

    Poodle

    She is smiling so widely because she is too stupid to understand what the Holocaust was.

    Aneta Pics via Shutterstock

    Most popular dog breeds in America

    Boxer

    Sure, frolic now, man. One day you're going to be euthanized and so is everyone you love.

    Dezi via Shutterstock

    Most popular dog breeds in America

    French Bulldog

    He's on a casual afternoon stroll because he is unfamiliar with the concept of eternity.

    Jagodka via Shutterstock

    Most popular dog breeds in America

    Rottweiler

    Wouldn't it be nice if we could all be this care-free? But we can't because we are basically all indirectly responsible for slavery.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>