Smoking and Women
Cigarette smoking affects women more than men. Yet about 23 million American women are smokers. This number constitutes about 23% of American women. As a result, greater than 140,000 women die annually due to smoking-related reasons. Teenage girls continue to get addicted to smoking and today there are more than 1.5 million teenage girl smokers in the US.
Effects of Smoking on Women
Women smokers face the same risks that men smokers do such as higher risk of a variety of cancers. In addition, women smokers can suffer some extra side effects which are detailed below:
Smoking and Oral Contraceptives
Women smokers who also use oral contraceptives face a high risk of contracting cardiovascular problems like strokes, heart attacks and blood clots. Women smokers above 35 are strictly advised not to utilize oral contraceptives.
Smoking and Pregnancy
Smoking during pregnancy can gravely harm the health of the baby. Tobacco chemicals can enter the fetus’ blood stream and affect the baby’s health. Smoking during pregnancy can cause miscarriage, low birth weight, preterm delivery and even neonatal death. Children of smoking mothers can suffer from frequent illnesses like respiratory problems, ear aches and colds.
Smoking and Infertility
If you wish to bear a child, you better bid goodbye to smoking. Women smokers can suffer from reduced fertility and their ability to experience a healthy pregnancy is also much reduced.
Smoking and Osteoporosis
Smoking significantly raises the risks of osteoporosis due to bone loss. This effect is more pronounced for heavy smokers. It is advisable for women smokers above 40 years to regularly get their bone density scanned to detect osteoporosis early.
Smoking and Heart Disease
Research reveals that smoking significantly raises the risk of heart disease for women, especially young smokers. This is because estrogen interacts adversely with cigarette chemicals to cause this deleterious effect on heart health.
Smoking and Cancers
Smoking women have an 80% greater risk of contracting cervical cancer. But the odds go down significantly if they quit. Smoking also drastically raises the risk of breast cancer for women. And this risk is much higher for heavy smokers. Again, the odds can be significantly reduced by quitting smoking for good.
As this article reveals, smoking and women simply do not go together. The risks are simply not worth it, whatever the motivation for smoking may be. So if you are a woman smoker, quit this dreadful and deadly habit for good before it causes irreversible damage to you and your loved ones.
To learn more about why pregnant women should not smoke, please watch this video: