Women & Tobacco: It's A Dangerous Habit
Once perceived as luxurious by some of the earliest celebrities, tobacco has fallen from grace and is now proven to be dangerous to the health of women and their families.
Smoking related diseases kill more than 200,000 women a year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Lung cancer now is the leading cause of cancer death in women, more common than breast cancer.
If you do smoke, consider these effects on your body. Your blood will carry toxins from cigarettes throughout your body to every organ. And the amount of oxygen in your blood decreases due to the carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke. You're also at risk for multiple health problems:
• Cancers of the lung, cervix, pancreas, kidneys, mouth, esophagus, throat and bladder
• Gum disease and tooth loss
• Infections and pneumonia
• Fertility problems
• Bone loss, osteoporosis and hip fractures in post-menopausal women
Your quality of life may suffer and your lifespan will shorten by 14.5 years on average, according to the CDC.
But there is some positive news amid the statistical doom and gloom. It's never too late to stop smoking. The health benefits are immediate. According to the American Lung Association, your heart rate drops to a normal level within 20 minutes of quitting smoking. In addition:
• You'll have more energy and get rid of that nasty smoker's cough.
• Your lung function improves and your heart attack risk drops within two weeks to three months of quitting.
• Within a year a quitting your heart attack risk drops to half that of a smoker's. And by 15 years after quitting, the likelihood you'll have a heart attack is at the same rate of a person who never smoked.
• Your skin isn't exposed to toxic smoke that can age you.
Learn more about how to quit smoking and why tobacco use is bad for your oral health.