Tobacco smoking seems to cause more respiratory symptoms among women than men, researchers say.
A team at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology studied a group of nearly 11,000 people aged between 20 and 97 years, who were either randomly selected or had reported symptoms of asthma. Lung function measures were taken, and an interview about respiratory symptoms and use of medication carried out.
In both men and women, cigarette smoking was linked to increased likelihood of respiratory symptoms, reduced lung function and lower self-reported health. But the more cigarettes that were smoked, the more women seemed to suffer the ill effects. They were more likely to have symptoms, perceive poor health and have poor lung function. One reason for this may be that women have smaller airways which may be more likely to be affected by cigarette smoke.