A new study has found that younger women who smoke have more than double the risk of stroke compared to non-smokers, with the heaviest smokers among them having nine times the risk.
Researchers, led by Dr. John Cole of the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, assessed stroke risk in women 15 to 49 years old who smoked cigarettes, reports Xinhua.
They found that current smokers were 2.6 times as likely to have a stroke than women who never smoked.
They also found that women who smoked the most faced the highest increased risk.
For instance, women who smoked 21 to 39 cigarettes a day had a risk of stroke 4.3 times higher than a non-smoker, while those who puffed at least two packs a day - 40 cigarettes - had a stroke risk 9.1 times higher than a non-smoker.
"The more you smoke, the more likely you are to have a stroke. Certainly quitting is the best thing you could do. But cutting back does offer some benefit," Cole said.
The study is published in the American Heart Association's journal Stroke.