Jul 24, 2012

Why Smoking is Especially Dangerous for Women

The risks that are attached to smoking are relevant to all age groups and genders. The common health risks such as lung cancer, as well as the unpleasant factors such as the smell of lingering smoke and early aging of skin are synonymous with anyone who smokes.

There are, however, a significant number of additional risks that women smokers face.

Although contraception itself is not negatively impacted on by smoking, being a smoker while using certain contraceptive methods can be a health risk. For example, some oral contraceptives have been shown to increase blood pressure, albeit by a marginal level. Smoking, especially if you are a heavy smoker, can raise blood pressure to dangerous levels itself, so a combination of the two could potentially be increasing your chances of a heart attack or stroke.

Children and Smoking
Whether you are trying to conceive a baby or are pregnant, smoking is not a good idea. If you are trying for a baby, the chemicals in cigarette smoke can seriously alter the environment in your cervix and womb, impacting on how easily you can conceive. Many studies have shown that women who smoke take much longer to conceive, with non-smoking women over 70% more fertile than smokers. Smoking while trying to conceive can affect your baby, even if you give up once you find out you are pregnant.

The pregnancy issue is a well-known one, and is common sense in the eyes of many. The risks range from something seemingly as innocuous as having a smaller baby, to serious dangers such as miscarriage and stillbirth. The message is simple: do not smoke while trying to conceive or when pregnant.

For those who plan to conceive later in life, as many women are now doing, be aware that smoking can dramatically bring forward the menopause.

Specific Cancers
Although cancer has long been directly linked with smoking, there are two types that are far more common in women, with the risk massively exacerbated by smoking.

In many countries, women are now tested for cervical cancer from their early teenage years, and there have even been steps towards a partial immunisation to prevent cervical cancer from developing at all. It is thought that cervical tissue already contains some harmful chemicals that are contained within cigarettes, so smoking merely serves to multiply this risk.

Breast cancer is perhaps the best known when it comes to the risk to women. By smoking, women increase their risk of developing breast cancer by up to 75%, while smokers are also more likely to develop more aggressive cancers and those that are more difficult to treat.

Jasper and Jasper provide smoking cessation aids to help people progressively end their addiction to tobacco smoke. You can buy electronic cigarettes from their website at Jasperandjasper.com

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