Doctors have been warning smokers about the harmful effects of tobacco for years. However, it seems that smoking affects women differently than men.
If we are to believe the World Health Organization (WHO), there are 1 billion smokers in the world and 200 million of them are women. Almost 1.5 million people die from tobacco each year, an alarming figure that illustrates the harmful effects of smoking on women .
According to a doctor, smoking affects women differently than men on several levels . Indeed, while smoking is known to increase the risk of various types of cancer in smokers, smoking puts women at a higher risk of cervical cancer.
Smoking also affects fertility and menstruation, especially PMS symptoms which can become more severe. Cigarettes are harmful to the fetus during pregnancy because the carbon monoxide present damages fetal tissue and nicotine increases the infant’s heart rate. Smoking increases the risk of miscarriages and exposes you to other complications such as placental abruption or premature births.
Smokers can experience premature menopause because nicotine interferes with the blood supply to the ovary, thereby decreasing its production function of the hormone estrogen. The cigarette also accelerates aging of the skin and decreases bone mineral density in women which inevitably exposes them to osteoporosis.
Female smokers are more likely than male smokers to develop chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Likewise, their immune system is greatly reduced.
As with men, smoking increases the risk of heart disease in women, especially heart attacks.
Image source: Getty Images