Tobacco companies may have filed a lawsuit to prevent cigarette labels from having graphic images designed to discourage smoking, but new research isn't helping their case. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, smoking may increase the risk of bladder cancer in women and men even more than previously believed.

Researchers found that former smokers were 2.2 percent more likely to develop bladder cancer than non-smokers, and current smokers were four times more likely to have bladder cancer. Additionally, the study authors say that about 50 percent of bladder cancer risk in men and women can be attributed to current or past smoking.

While not sure, researchers suspect that the increased bladder risk is due to the changing composition of cigarettes. According to WebMD, many manufacturers have cut back on tar and nicotine but replaced them with other potential carcinogens such as beta-napthylamine, which is a known to increase bladder cancer risk. Environment and genetics may also play a role, researchers say.

Jennipher Walters is the CEO and co-founder of the healthy living websites FitBottomedGirls.com and FitBottomedMamas.com. A certified personal trainer, lifestyle and weight management coach and group exercise instructor, she also holds an MA in health journalism and regularly writes about all things fitness and wellness for various online publications.

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