Smoking effect on women’s health
Last updated date: 08-Oct-2021
4 mins read
While tobacco was used in various forms for centuries prior the to 19th Century in many parts of the world, what we generally understand as a cigarette was primarily the result of mass production rolling machines from the late 1860’s and on. The introduction of cigarette-rolling machines in the 19th century was a revolutionary period for the consumption of tobacco that increased reach to the general population. Cigarettes was an instant success from the start, eventually contributing a large portion of economic activity in many countries around the world. The high level of addictive qualities of the product meant that it was an ideal candidate for attaching various forms of government taxes being levied on without worries of decreasing demand.
Unlike cigarettes from a hundred years ago, the modern cigarettes contain numerous chemicals that increase taste, mask off putting smells and flavors of the natural tobacco’s burning and increase the chances of the smoker becoming addicted to the product. Modern cigarettes contain hundreds of chemical additives to enhance the appeal to the smoker. However, these chemicals are very harmful and are known to increase the chance of many diseases and illnesses including but not limited to: lung cancer, heart disease, diabetes, liver cancer, ectopic pregnancy, erectile dysfunction, vision loss, tuberculosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and colorectal cancer. In fact, according to the WHO, Tobacco kills more than 8 million people each year. More than 7 million of those deaths are the result of direct tobacco use while around 1.2 million are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke from smokers. All forms of tobacco are harmful, and there is no safe level of exposure to tobacco, but cigarette smoking is the most common form of tobacco use worldwide. Over 80% of the 1.3 billion tobacco users worldwide live in low- and middle-income countries, where the economic burden of tobacco related illness and death is the heaviest. Tobacco use contributes to poverty by diverting household spending from basic needs such as food and shelter to tobacco, and its eventual health related treatment costs which is where you really pay. The economic costs of tobacco use are substantial and include significant health care costs for treating the diseases caused by tobacco use as well as the lost human capital that results from tobacco use related morbidity and mortality.
Against the backdrop of wasted economic resources and human life losses, one must mention that the increasing usage of tobacco and cigarettes by women has increased a whole host of diseases and illnesses that now many women suffer. The long list of health problems includes:
Trouble with pregnancy, irregular and painful periods, menopause at a younger age, and low estrogen levels resulting in mood swings, fatigue, and vaginal dryness.
Women are more likely than men to develop chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which increasingly adds to female mortality throughout the world.
Heart failure is a top reason for death around the world and for people under the age of 50, most cases of heart disease are related to smoking. However, women smokers over the age of 35 have a slightly greater risk of dying from heart disease compared to men who smoke. Also, women who smoke cigarettes while using oral contraceptives greatly increase their risk of heart disease. This is particularly true for women who are over the age of 35. Finally, relative to male smokers, female smokers have a greater risk of dying from an abdominal aortic aneurysm, which is a weakening of the main blood vessel that transports blood from the heart to the body.
Smoking cigarettes increases the risk of many cancers, including cancers of the lung, pancreatic, kidney, liver, throat, bladder, and colorectum. For women it should be mentioned that smoking also increases risk of cervical cancer and breast cancer.
It is best to stop smoking cigarettes immediately and health benefits will also begin right away. It will be beneficial for your health in many ways as well for the baby if you are undergoing pregnancy (or increase the likelihood of conceiving if you are trying to have a baby). Also, skin complexions, mood swings, lack of energy, various bodily pains and aches should all improve upon your departure from using cigarettes. If breast cancer is a concern due to use of cigarettes, it is best to undergo an exam earlier than later, as early detection is often the best savior.
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