December 7, 2010

The Hazards of Smoking for Women

If you live on planet earth, then you have probably heard that smoking is bad for your health.  One thing that most people are not aware of is that smoking is the most easily prevented cause of fatality in the United States.  Even with all of the available information disseminated of the approximately 100 million women in the US, 23 million of them still smoke.  Those women between the ages of 25 & 44 represent 27% of the female smokers in the United States of America.  That means that 6.21 million women of the 23 million that smoke are in the aforementioned age group.  If you are in that age group and you do smoke, you should seriously consider quitting immediately.

The risks that are posed to women because of smoking are far-reaching and difficult to refute.  Women smokers have the same risks as their male counterparts, but they also have risks that are unique to females.  One of the first things to mention for women between 25 & 44 is that you might be risking your ability to conceive.  Yes, smoking can cause female infertility.  We won’t even go into the risks to your baby if you smoke while pregnant.  If you want to get pregnant, then you should quit smoking before you seriously try to conceive.

Smoking and Osteoporosis

If you are a postmenopausal female smoker, then you should be aware of the dangers that can come from estrogen replacement therapy to protect against osteoporosis and smoking.  This estrogen therapy combined with smoking can greatly increase your risk of developing cardio vascular disease.  Cardiovascular disease can lead to strokes and heart attacks.  Smoking alone causes a risk for cardiovascular disease, but when combined with estrogen replacement therapy, the risk goes even higher.

Every woman should think about the possibility of osteoporosis, as she gets older.  The bone loss that typically occurs as women age can be a seriously debilitating condition.  If you are a smoker, then the rate of bone loss can be much high, causing you a higher risk of a debilitating injury.  While it is common practice for physicians to do bone density scans for women starting at age 40, it is also common for these same physicians to do the same scans on their smoking patients as early as 30 years of age.  The danger of faster bone loss is high enough that doctors go the extra mile to begin early detection to prevent osteoporosis from taking too strong of a hold early on.

Smoking and Heart Disease for Women

Everyone knows that smoking can cause heart disease, but do they know that each year, roughly 34.000 women die from heart disease attributed to smoking?  If you remember the numbers from earlier, that means that nearly 1.5% of female smokers die each year due to heart disease caused by their smoking habit. 

Cervical Cancer and Female Smokers

It is also common knowledge that smoking can increase the risk of cancer.  For women, it goes even farther than this.  Women smokers are 80% more likely to develop cervical cancer than are their non-smoking counterparts.  Eighty percent is a very large number and cancer is a very serious disease.  Some studies have shown that those women smokers diagnosed with cervical cancer that reduce their smoking habit by at least 75% or more have a much greater potential of seeing their cervical cancer move into remission.  For many women, remission equals survival.  In these situations, quitting might be what saves your life.

Smoking and Breast Cancer

A large amount of research has been done concerning smoking and breast cancer.  The studies suggest that women with breast cancer who smoke have an 25% higher chance of fatality due to the breast cancer than do women with breast cancer than do not smoke.  If the woman smokes 2 packs or more per day, they can increase their fatality chances to up to 75%.  This number is astounding. 

All of the information in the world may not convince you to stop smoking.  Before you will be successful in your endeavor to live smoke free is the determination that you want to live the rest of your life without smoking.  Your willpower over this issue is the most powerful weapon you will ever have.  Remember, you have the choice to smoke or not to smoke.  Choose wisely…choose life.

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