We've been bombarded with the "smoking is bad for you" message since we were in elementary school. But, new research shows that, for women, the risk is even greater: We've now surpassed men when it comes to smoking-related death rates. (Um, super scary.)
It used to be that men had a five-times higher risk of dying of lung cancer than women did. But recent cancer research by the University of California, San Francisco, shows that women who smoke are now actually even more likely than men who smoke to die of lung cancer. Not only that, but female smokers are nearly 18 times more likely to die of lung cancer than women who don't have a cigarette habit.
While many of us listened to the anti-smoking ads we constantly saw as kids (and aren't dealing with a two-pack-a-day habit like a lot of people from our parents' generation), social smoking—as in having a cigarette when you're out drinking—is pretty prevalent among young women. And, not to get all preachy on you, but, yes, it still "counts" as smoking. According to the University of Montana, this sorta-sporatic habit can even lead to a full-on addiction. Not good.
So, next time you're thinking about bumming a cigarette after last call as you wait to catch a cab, you may want to reach for your pack of gum instead. It's just not worth the risk.
Read more: More Women Die of Lung Cancer Than Men — Smoking Risks for Women - Cosmopolitan