Smokers could be at a higher risk of developing motor neurone disease (MND), new findings have shown.
The report, published in journal Archives of Neurology, analysed data of five major studies with more than one million participants in total.
It was found that smokers have a 42 per increased chance of contracting a form of MND known as amylotrophic lateral sclerosis and that former smokers have a 44 per cent elevated risk of developing the condition.
The study authors wrote: "Better understanding of the relation between smoking and ALS may further the discovery of other risk factors and help elucidate the nature of the disease."
In other news, the MND Association has said that the Commission on the Funding of Care and Support should allocate more money to dealing with the condition.
John Kell, policy manager at the organisation, said that the present system responds too slowly and unsatisfactorily to the aggressive disease.