Women smoking in India has become more of a trend, with an alarming rise of about 18% in the number of women smokers.
The reasons may differ as to why women take up smoking, but the effects are the same or even worse as compared to men.
We know that smoking can lead to lung cancer and heart diseases. But being a woman we need to be aware of the numerous health risks of smoking tobacco that can be unique only to us.
Effects of Smoking in Women
- There is increased risk of various cancers like lung, mouth, larynx (voice box), pharynx (throat), esophagus, kidney, pancreas, cervical, and bladder. One study found 80% greater risk of developing cervical cancer in smokers.
- Smoking causes more breathing difficulties in women than in men. In India, betel chewing is a common practice among rural women, which leads to respiratory problems.
- Female smokers are more susceptible to osteoporosis, when bones become brittle and are prone to fracture. The condition is terrible because it reduces the bone density and its very painful.
- If a woman has started to smoke at an early age then she develops a risk of early menopause. Smokers can notice the symptoms of menopause 2-3 years before nonsmokers.
- Menstrual problems such as abnormal bleeding, amenorrhea (absence of periods), and vaginal discharges or infections are common complaints among women who smoke.
- If having a baby is part of your future plan then you should think of quitting now. The toxins in the cigarette smoke can kill the eggs while they are still in your ovaries. Smoking during pregnancy is a big no, you will be just risking the life of your infant, and it can lead to complications - delivering a pre-mature baby, impairing the child's long-term growth and intellectual development to name a few.
- Last but not the least, smoking affects your appearance. Your skin will age prematurely, because the oxygen gets displaced by carbon monoxide in your body. This is basically starving your cells of the oxygen it needs. Some studies suggest that it also increases the rick of developing the most common forms of skin cancer.