Women have been warned by a scientist from the US that they are at significantly higher risk of developing some smoking-related illnesses than men, although the reasons behind this are not yet clear.
Following the findings of a recent study on the subject, Rachel Huxley - an associate professor and epidemiologist at the University of Minnesota's School of Public Health - noted that the risk of coronary heart disease can be one-quarter greater in women.
"We never actually believed that there would be a sex difference between men and women," she commented. "I wish we had the answer, but unfortunately we don't. There are several hypotheses that are being suggested."
Ms Huxley added that the basis may be physiological and suggested it could be that women absorb certain harmful chemicals differently to male smokers, but observed that the effects appeared similar across different parts of the globe.
Her remarks came as a survey published in the Journal of the American Medical Association indicated this week that smoking increases the risk of bladder cancer more now than it did in the past.