Women smokers are being warned that they have an increased risk of entering menopause earlier than non-smokers unless they give up smoking.
The conclusion was made by researchers from the University of Hong Kong who found that women smokers hit menopause between 43 to 50 years of age compared to 46 to 51 years among non smokers.
The study was led by Professor ¬Volodymyr Dvornyk who observed the effect of smoking among more than 6,000 women.
Writing in the report, published in the journal Menopause, Professor Dvornyk said, "Our results provide yet another justification for women to avoid this habit. General consensus is earlier menopause is likely to be associated with the larger number and higher risk of postmenopausal health issues."