A recent report reveals that chronic lung disease among women has almost doubled in seven years due to heavy smoking. Almost half of the 50,000 cases of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease diagnosed in England and Wales between 1990 and 1997 were among women. These numbers constitute a steep rise in the percentage of women with the disease, from .8 percent of the total population in 1990 to 1.36 percent in 1997. Chronic lung disease is incurable and is the fifth most common cause of death world-wide, according to the 1998 World Health Report. Some doctors theorize that the current high rate of the disease among women is the result of smoking patterns from the 1950s and ’60s when smoking among women was widely portrayed as fashionable.