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Women and Smoking

Despite all of our anti-smoking education, one in 4 adult Americans continue to smoke. . .and teenage girls are doing so increasingly.  Smoking is the number one risk factor for several major killers, from heart disease and stroke to most cancers, especially lung cancer.  We asked anti-smoking expert Dr. Michelle Bloch of the American Medical Women's Association to  comment:

"Well, smoking is addictive and many women who smoke are in denial that they will ever be hurt by smoking. . .Iwould say we're not doing enough to educate women about HOW harmful smoking is to remind them and help them break through their own denial".

Shouldn't everyone know by now that smoking causes lung cancer?

"Well as you say, lung cancer is the leading cancer killer of women. . .but in addition, women who smoke die from heart disease and stroke and lung diseases like chronic bronchitis and emphysema." 

Smoking also causes many other problems:  it increases breast cancer risk, impairs fetal growth when pregnant moms smoke, and even increases ear infections in children whose parents smoke.  Women smokers also have greatly increased risks from birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy.  And, it's a very expensive habit.

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Created: 12/14/2000  -  Donnica Moore, M.D.

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