Women Who Smoke

in Women
Despite our knowledge about the death, disease, and addiction caused by smoking, in 1993, 22 percent of U.S. women 18 years of age and older were current cigarette smokers. Female smokers typically begin to smoke during adolescence--usually before high school graduation. The earlier a young woman begins to use tobacco, the more heavily she is likely to use it as an adult. Cigarette use is somewhat less common among African American than among white women (21 percent as compared to 24 percent). Smoking is much more common among women with fewer years of education.
A Slow Decline
The prevalence of smoking among women decreased by about 11 percent between 1965 and 1993. From 1965 to 1983, the decline in smoking prevalence was greater among men than among women. Since 1983, however, the decline has been comparable for women and men.
Health Effects
Using tobacco increases a woman's risk of chronic health problems and premature death.
Cancers. Tobacco use accounts for nearly one third of all cancer deaths. An estimated 62,000 women die each year from lung cancer, which has surpassed breast cancer as the leading cause of cancer deaths among women. These deaths are largely due to smoking. The lung cancer death rate among women has increased by more than 400 percent over the last 30 years and is continuing to increase.
In addition to increasing the risk of lung cancer, tobacco use is a major risk factor for cancers of the cervix, mouth, throat, esophagus, kidney, pancreas, and bladder.
Heart Disease and Stroke. Women who smoke greatly increase their risk of heart attack and stroke. Each year approximately 34,000 deaths from ischemic heart disease among women are attributed to smoking. In addition, about 8,000 deaths from stroke among women are attributed to smoking. Most of these deaths are in women who are past menopause; however, smoking increases the risk more in younger women than in older women. Some studies suggest that smoking cigarettes dramatically increases the risk of heart disease among premenopausal women who are also taking birth control pills.
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Alex Jups has 1 articles online


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This article was published on 2010/10/14