Research in Finland links killer strokes to smoking
A possible link between a deadly form of stroke and smoking has been discovered by scientists.
Researchers in Finland found a sharp drop in the number of people who suffered a subarachnoid haemorrhage - the most fatal form of stroke - occurred in the same period as a decline in smoking numbers.
Between 1998 and 2012 the number of people who smoked plunged 30% among 15 to 64-year-olds in the country, the study found.
During this time, cases of the killer stroke also went down by 45% among women under 50 and 38% among men under 50, as well as by 16% among women over 50 and 26% among men over 50.
Scientists said they could not establish whether the change in smoking habits caused the drop, but it was "highly likely" Finnish tobacco policies played a role.
A British charity said the findings were a "wake-up call" to smokers and this should help motivate people to quit.