MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Female smokers are now dying from lung cancer and lung disease far more often than they were several decades ago.

A report in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that women now have the same smoking patterns as men: They start earlier, smoke more and more women are lighting up. It has increased a woman’s risk of dying from lung cancer.

“Whereas earlier women died at two or three times higher rates from lung cancer. Now, they’re dying at 25 times the rate of non-smokers,” said Dr. Tim McAfee at the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.

Another study finds that a smoker’s life expectancy is 10 years shorter than a non-smoker.

However, there is encouraging news: If you quit before age 40 you get almost all 10 years back. Researchers also found that non-smokers are twice as likely to live to 80 compared to smokers.

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