The effect of smoking on women’s health has been a topic that is less discussed. We live in a society where we can hardly define what’s right or wrong, good or bad.
Whatsoever that endangers human existence or health should not be associated with something good. Though, we always have the choice to decide individually what is good or bad.
Despite the efforts of the relevant health authorities who sensitize the public on the effect of smoking on women’s health, smoking remains the leading cause of preventable morbidity and mortality that affect all nations.
Today, women smokers have overtaken their male counterparts and it’s becoming a female thing. Smoking was seen as a habit unacceptable for women in the 80’s.
Then, smoking was seen as male behaviour and hence inappropriate for women. Women who smoke then do that secretly or when they are away from home.
Lately, most ladies take up smoking as a teenager or young adult to show off masochism or may start this habit under peer pressure.
For whatever reason, when one starts smoking, they become addicted to it and later find it tough to give up even if they wish.
Smoking for anyone, at any age, is unhealthy and should be discouraged, because it can lead to preventable disease, and even death.
For women, smoking carries certain further risks, while many may know that smoking can cause cardiovascular disease and certain cancers, like lung cancer, they may not be aware that smoking can also negatively affect a woman’s reproductive health, as well as advance to cervical cancer.
Why do we smoke?
Most smokers started when they were teens. Those who have friends or parents who smoke are more likely to start smoking than those who don’t.
A lot of addictive smokers started smoking just because they want to try it out without minding the effect it has on their health.
The feeling of having the liberty to do whatever they feel like doing or the thought that smoking is good for them. People say that they use tobacco for many different reasons like stress relief, pleasure, or in social situations.
Some of the major reason why some smoke can be linked to Emotions
Many people smoke because it’s a way they’ve learned to cope with negative moods and the stress of daily activities.
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Health risks associated with women smokers.
Smoking has many adverse reproductive and early childhood effects, including an increased risk for infertility, preterm delivery, stillbirth, low birth weight and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) etc.
1. Smoking and Pregnancy
Smoking harm your unborn baby, when you smoke during pregnancy, you poison the foetus. Carbon monoxide (the poisonous smoke emitted) has a greater affinity for foetal tissue than for adult tissue, and when nicotine crosses the placenta it speeds up the baby’s heart rate.
Smoking during pregnancy can cause many problems for the baby, including:
• Higher risk of being born too early.
• Higher risk of serious birth defects, like a cleft lip or cleft palate.
• Lower chance of healthy birth weight (more than 5.5 pounds).
• Less likely to have normal brain development before birth and through early childhood etc.
Note, the breast milk of smokers can carry nicotine to a suckling baby.
2 Poor Skin Tone
Smoking chronically deprives the skin of the necessary oxygen and nutrients needed. Smoking dehydrates the skin causing early wrinkling. Nicotine the active ingredient in tobacco smoke causes constriction of the blood vessels thus reducing blood supply to the skin.
The skin loses its ability to rejuvenate and also becomes thin like parchment over time. Collagen tissue of the skin is also damaged by smoking; hence the skin loses its elasticity and early wrinkling sets in.
3. Sagging Arms and Breasts
Smoking doesn’t only damage the appearance of your face; it can also take a toll on your figure. As skin loses its elasticity, parts that were once firm may begin to sag. This includes the inner arms and breasts. Researchers have identified smoking as a top cause of sagging breasts.