More than half a million Americans -- almost 290,000 men and 230,000 women -- died of smoking-related causes annually from 2002 to 2006, according to a study in the journal Epidemiology. Researchers said former and current smokers ages 65 to 74 were most likely to suffer smoking-related deaths compared with other smokers and former smokers, and they were also three times as likely as nonsmokers to die from other causes when factors such as alcohol consumption were considered.

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