Comparing smokers with women who had never smoked, researchers found those who said they smoked heavily (more than 25 cigarettes a day) were likely to have faced the menopause 18 months earlier than non-smokers.
And non-smokers who had experienced many years of exposure to passive smoke – for example living with indoor smokers – went through the menopause earlier than non-smokers who were not around tobacco.
Scientists say the findings stood true even when alcohol use, educational backgrounds, oral contraceptive prescriptions and ethnicity were taken into account.
And though they cannot be certain of the long-term health consequences of these findings, they point out that previous studies have linked earlier menopause to a risk of earlier death.
The report, involving 79,000 women, showed those who smoked from the age of 15 went through the menopause on average 21 months earlier than women who did not smoke.
Another reason to PLEASE PLEASE stop smoking …