A study by two doctors finds that women who smoke have a 25 percent higher risk for heart disease than men, even when smoking fewer cigarettes. Smoking itself, whether male or female, will guarantee higher rates for purchasing life insurance.
Richel R. Huxley of the University of Minnesota and Mark Woodward of Johns Hopkins University of Maryland published the study in the journal The Lancet. The authors analyzed 86 previous studies involving more than 4 million people, eventually narrowing the group down to 2.4 million participants.
"Cigarette smoking is one of the main causes of coronary heart disease worldwide and will remain so as populations that have so far been relatively unscathed by the smoking epidemic begin to smoke to a degree previously noted only in high-income countries," the report says. "The expectation is especially true for young women in whom the popularity of smoking, particularly in some low-income and middle-income countries, might be on the rise."
MSN Money said smokers will be expected to pay a higher rate on their life insurance. The website said insurance companies generally don't differentiate between an occasional smoker and those who smoke a pack every day, as the health risks are same in the company's mind.