Smoking creates health concerns for women of all ages
(NC)—Many Canadians associate smoking with lung cancer, heart disease and premature death. But did you know that lighting up can also lead to a whole host of other health concerns for women, regardless of their age?
Women may not realize that from first puff, they are impacting their overall health and wellness, specifically putting themselves at major risk for effects they can trace on their faces – premature ageing and deep wrinkling. In fact, a recent survey conducted by Angus Reid on behalf of nicotine replacement therapy brands, Nicoderm and Nicorette, revealed fewer than two in 10 female smokers surveyed were actually aware of the link between lighting up and increased risks of developing health issues such as infertility, early onset of menopause, menstrual irregularities, osteoporosis, baldness or premature greying of hair, weight gain, hearing loss and incontinence.
Here are some eye-opening facts on some of the lesser-known effects of long-term smoking:
• Smoking can cause your hair to do more than just smell – it can potentially lead to baldness and premature grey hair. According to an in-depth report on smoking published in the New York Times, certain chemicals in smoke break down hair cells, leading to hair damage.
• According to a British Medical Association Report, teenage girls and women who smoke may be more likely to have painful and irregular periods. Smoking can also reduce chances of conceiving a baby by 10 to 40 per cent per cycle.
• Information from the World Health Organization (WHO) shows that smokers are one and a half times more likely to lose their teeth. Cigarette smoke interferes with the mouth's chemistry, creating a build-up of plaque on the teeth and yellow discolouration.
• Information from the WHO also shows that smokers can lose their hearing earlier than non-smokers and are more susceptible to hearing loss caused by ear infections or loud noise.
• After the age of 35-40, every year of continued smoking loses three months of life expectancy.
• Postmenopausal women who smoke one or more packs of cigarettes a day are five times more likely to develop breast cancer than others who do not smoke.
The good news is it's not too late to reverse the ill-effects of smoking – the sooner a woman quits, the greater the benefit. There are many options available to help smokers kick the habit, including one Health Canada approved quit strategy, Reduce-to-Quit. This approach can give smokers the extra push they need to quit and helps address nicotine addiction by substituting cigarettes with nicotine replacement therapies like Nicorette gum. The Nicorette Reduce to Quit program may increase the chances of quitting by over 4 times. More helpful quit tips can be found online at www.reducetoquit.ca.