SMOKING EFFECTS ON WOMEN
Smoking harms everyone from either gender, with women not being exclusive. According to WHO, about 200 million of the world’s one billion smokers are women and 64% of deaths from second-hand smokers are women too.
That is why understanding the tobacco epidemic among women is very crucial in its harm reduction. Why? Because while every woman exposed to tobacco smokes faces increased risks of various cancers like lung, mouth, kidney and many others just like men, there are some smoking-related diseases that are unique to women!
First off, smoking might cause infertility. Even if the pregnancy goes through, it could still risk facing various problems. Smoking during pregnancy increases risks of premature delivery, stillbirth and newborn death. Plus, it may even reduce breast milk production.
Other than that, smoking can also expose women to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), premature menopause, osteoporosis, cervical cancer, vulvar cancer and most relatable of all – mental health risks. The false feel-good effects from the nicotine addiction will never satisfy its consumer, which may easily lead them to unnecessary stress and anxiety when they stop smoking.
Most women choose ‘light cigarettes’ because it is ‘not as hard’ as the original flavoured cigarettes. Little did they realise, these ‘light cigarettes’ do not lower down its harmful effects because they are still exposed to cigarette smoke that contain harmful chemicals.
Less unfortunately, there are a few tips to reduce harm in smoking. Firstly, you could turn to raw vegetables like carrots and celeries to replace having something in your mouth. Yes, you can even cut them into sticks if it helps persuade you psychologically. Secondly, do not do it on your own. Seek help or join group supports – you can find them online even more easily than finding items from shopping apps. Trust in the system, as all things work together for good. Lastly, but not any least useful, switch to smoke-free e-cigarettes (vapes), or heated tobacco products (HTPs), which produce less harms by not involving combustion of tobacco which leads to production of cigarette smoke which contain harmful chemicals.