Does smoking impacts women differently?

People who smoke are more likely to have certain health issues and get certain diseases compared to those who don’t smoke. Some health issues are immediate, while others develop over time.

People who smoke are more likely to have certain health issues and get certain diseases compared to those who don’t smoke. Some health issues are immediate, while others develop over time.

Those anti-smoking advertisements and cautionary messages on cigarette packets, may or may not deter people from smoking, but doctors have always, warned people against the ill-effects of tobacco.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) suggests that around 200 million of the world’s one billion smokers are women. And among them, nearly 1.5 million die every year from tobacco use. This is an alarming figure which clearly highlights the negative effects of tobacco on women and the trends associated with it.

·         Smoking causes most lung cancer deaths in women and men. It puts women at a higher risk of cervical cancer. More women die from lung cancer than any other cancer, including breast cancer. There are now more new cases of lung cancer in young women (ages 30–49) than young men.

·         When you become smoke free, your mind and body will begin to heal immediately. Quitting smoking can improve your mood and give you more energy to do the things you love. 

·         Smoking also affects menstruation in terms of severe premenstrual symptoms and increase in cramps. It also affects fertility, leading to delay or challenges in conceiving.

·         Women who smoke may have a harder time getting pregnant. If you do become pregnant, the nicotine from smoking can harm your baby. The carbon monoxide present in tobacco harms the fetal tissue, while nicotine causes the infant’s heart rate to speed up.

·         Smoking also increases the risk of miscarriages and other complications such as placenta abruption (placenta is the flattened circular organ in the uterus of pregnant women which nourishes and maintains the fetus) and still birth.

·         Smokers are more likely than nonsmokers to get chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This disease makes it hard to breathe, and it gets worse over time. There is no cure for COPD. Women are more likely than men to develop severe COPD at younger ages.

According to an expert, “Also, a large majority of women often smoke cigarettes that are misleadingly marketed as ‘light’, thinking they are safer than the rest. These women, however, often engage in compensatory smoking, inhaling more deeply and frequently, causing more harm.”


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