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SUVA, Fiji Islands (July 31, 1998 - Fiji Times/Pasifik Nius/Niuswire)---Fiji ranks third in a survey of countries where more than 20 percent of the women aged 15 or older smoke.

The survey by the World Health Organization has established that 31 percent of women above the age of 15 in Fiji smoke.

Fiji shares third place with the Czech Republic. Denmark is ranked first, at 37 percent, while Norway is second, at 36 percent.

The survey also revealed that more Fijian men, 59 percent, smoke. Fiji's men place third highest among countries surveyed.

According to a recent United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund publication, The Progress of Nations, the survey revealed that of the 87 countries with available data, 20 percent or more women smoke in a total of 38 countries.

Of the 38, seven are developing countries. These included Fiji, Brazil, Chile, Cook Islands, Cuba, Papua New Guinea, and Uruguay.

Women smokers face increased risk of cervical cancer, impaired fertility and premature menopause.

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