Smoking is a more harmful behavior for women compared to men, according to a recent study in Respirology.

Results from the study by Fei Xu, MD, PhD, which surveyed the smoking habits of 120,000 respondents, showed a direct correlation between the number of cigarettes smoked and the risk of developing COPD. The study also revealed that women smokers run a significantly higher risk of developing COPD, as compared to their male counterparts who smoked the same amount.

"It is not only the behavior of smoking but also the number of cigarettes smoked that can significantly increase the risk of developing COPD, particularly if you are a woman," says Xu.

Hopefully, the research will facilitate policy-makers efforts to formulate policies to combat smoking in the general population, thereby reducing the burden of COPD on the public health system.

Xu added: “The findings also serve as a warning for smokers, especially women, to give up smoking."