14 July 2006

Poor die more quickly from smoking

Poor men are twice as likely to die early than those in wealthier families - and half the difference is because of smoking, a new study shows. In Britain poor men are nearly five times more likely to die of smoking than the rich.

Widespread cessation of smoking could eventually halve the absolute differences between these social strata in the risk of premature death. All men who smoke play Russian roulette with their lives but the odds are heavily stacked against those in lower income groups as they are much more likely to smoke.

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