Giving women more political and economic control increases female smoking rates, a new study revealed. Out of 74 countries researched Ireland has 47.5% women smokers.
Co-author Dr Geoffrey T Fong added: “Our analysis of smoking rates across 74 countries shows that this difference declines as measures of women’s status improve.
“However, this correlation between female empowerment and smoking does not mean that women will automatically start smoking if they become empowered.
It noted that historical investigations show that younger and more educated women are among the first to take up smoking when there is a breakdown of the traditional social norms that act as a deterrent.