London, June 14 : Women who smoke are not at a greater risk of developing lung cancer than male smokers, according to a new research.
While lung cancer likelihood of women has long been debated, the study, conducted by the National Cancer Institute involving 450,000 people did not find any gender based difference, as far as lung cancer development in smokers is concerned.
For the study, the team took into account data on smoking habits, diet, exercise and alcohol use for 279,214 men and 184,623 women aged between 50 and 71 living in eight US states and then determined the rate of lung cancer.
The results indicated a difference of just 0.9percent in the risk for lung cancer in women and men smokers.
Also, men and women, who smoke more than two packs per day, had an almost 50 percent more chances of developing lung cancer than people who had never smoked.
Led by Dr Neal Freedman, the team said that the main advantage in their study was its size, which gave reliable findings.
"Our findings suggest that women are not more susceptible than men to the carcinogenic effects of cigarette smoking in the lung. Vigorous efforts should continue to be directed at eliminating smoking in both sexes," BBC quoted the researchers, as saying.
"Smoking has a devastating effect on the health of people trapped by their tobacco addiction," said Andy McEwen, assistant director of tobacco studies at Cancer Research UK's Health Behaviour Research Centre.
"The risk of a smoker, male or female, developing lung cancer is 15 times greater than that of a non-smoker and smoking continues to be the biggest preventable cause of death for men and women.
"Smoking accounts for the vast majority of cases of lung cancer worldwide. More has to be done to help all smokers to quit if we are to prevent future deaths from lung cancer," he added.
The detailed findings of the study are published in Lancet Oncology.