The prevalence of smoking generally is higher for women with anxiety disorders, bulimia, depression, attention deficit disorder, and alcoholism; it is particularly high among patients with diagnosed schizophrenia. The connection between smoking and these disorders requires additional research.
Health Consequences of Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS)
Exposure to ETS is a cause of lung cancer among women nonsmokers. Studies support a causal relationship between exposure to ETS and coronary heart disease mortality among women nonsmokers. Infants born to women who are exposed to ETS during pregnancy may have a small decrement in birth weight and a slightly increased risk for intrauterine growth retardation.
Smoking and Reproductive Outcomes, Cigarette Smoking Among Pregnant Women
Women smokers, like men smokers, are at increased risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and pulmonary disease, but women smokers also experience unique risks related to menstrual and reproductive function.
Women who smoke have increased risk beginning delay and for major and secondary infertility.
Smoking during pregnancy remains a major public health problem despite increased knowledge of the adverse health effects of smoking during pregnancy. Although the occurrence of smoking during pregnancy has declined steadily in recent years, substantial numbers of pregnant women continue to smoke, and only about one-third of women who stop smoking during pregnancy are still abstinent one year after the delivery.
Women who smoke may have a modest increase in risks for ectopic pregnancy and spontaneous. abortion.
Smoking during pregnancy is associated with increased risk for premature break of membranes, abruptio placentae (placenta separation from the uterus), and placenta previal (abnormal location of the placenta, which can cause massive hemorrhaging during delivery; smoking is also associated with a modest increase in risk for preterm delivery.
Infants born to women who smoke during pregnancy have a lower average birth weight and are more likely to be small for gestational age than infants born to women who do not smoke. Low birth weight is associated with increased risk for neonatal, perinatal, and infant morbidity and mortality. The longer the mother smokes during pregnancy, the greater the effect on the infant's birth weight. The risk for perinatal mortality, both stillbirths and neonatal deaths, and the risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) are higher for the offspring of women who smoke during pregnancy.
Women who smoke are less likely to breast-feed their infants than are women who do not.
Environmental Tobacco Smoke and Reproductive Outcomes
Infants born to women who are exposed to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) during pregnancy may have a small decrement in birth weight and a slightly increased risk for intrauterine growth retardation than infants born to women who are not exposed to ETS.
Smoking Prevalence and Smoking Cessation during Pregnancy
Despite increased knowledge of the adverse health effects of smoking during pregnancy, estimates of women smoking during pregnancy range from 12% (based on birth certificate data) up to 22% (based on survey data). However, smoking during pregnancy appears to have decreased from 1989 through 1998. Eliminating maternal smoking may lead to a 10% reduction in all infant deaths and a 12% reduction in deaths from perinatal conditions.
Women who quit smoking before or during pregnancy reduce the risk for adverse reproductive outcomes, including difficulties in becoming pregnant, infertility, premature rupture of membranes, preterm delivery, and low birth weight. Most relevant studies suggest that infants of women who stop smoking by the first trimester have weight and body measurements comparable with those of nonsmokers' infants. Studies also suggest that smoking in the third trimester is particularly detrimental. Women are more likely to stop smoking during pregnancy, both spontaneously and with assistance, than at other times in their lives. Using pregnancy-specific programs can increase smoking cessation rates, which benefits infant health and is cost effective. However, only one-third of women who stop smoking during pregnancy are still abstinent 1 year after the delivery.
Programs that encourage women to stop smoking before, during, and after pregnancy — and not to take up smoking ever again — deserve high priority for two reasons: during pregnancy women are highly motivated to stop smoking, and they still have many remaining years of potential life.
Despite increased knowledge of the adverse health effects of smoking during pregnancy, survey data suggest that a substantial number of pregnant women and girls smoke. Cigarette smoking during pregnancy declined from 19.5% in 1989 to 12.9% in 1998.
Smoking prevalence during pregnancy differs by age and by race and ethnicity. In 1998, smoking prevalence during pregnancy was consistently highest among young adult women aged 18 through 24 (17.1%) and lowest among women aged 25 through 49 (10.5%).
Smoking during pregnancy declined among women of all racial/ethnic populations. From 1989 to 1998, smoking among American Indian or Alaska Native pregnant women decreased from 23.0% to 20.2%; among pregnant white women from 21.7% to 16.2%; African American pregnant women from 17.2% to 9.6%; Hispanic pregnant women from 8.0% to 4.0%; and Asian American or Pacific Islander pregnant women from 5.7% to 3.1%.
In 1998, there was nearly a 12-fold difference among pregnant women who smoke—ranging from 25.5 percent among mothers with 9-11 years of education to 2.2 percent among mothers with 16 or more years of education.
What Is Need to Reduce Smoking Among Women – Fact Sheet
Increase awareness of the devastating impact of smoking on women's health. Smoking is the leading known cause of preventable death and disease among women — In 1997, smoking accounted for about 165,000 deaths among U.S. women. In 1987, lung cancer became the leading cause of cancer death among women, and by 2000, about 27,000 more women in the United States died of lung cancer (about 68,000) than of breast cancer (about 41,000).
Expose and counter the tobacco industry's deliberate targeting of women and decry its efforts to link smoking, which is so harmful to women's health, with women's rights and progress in society — In 1999 tobacco companies spent more than $8.24 billion,— or more than $22.6 million a day — to advertise and promote cigarettes. To sell its products, the tobacco industry exploits themes of success and independence, particularly in its advertising in women's magazines.
Encourage a more vocal constituency on issues related to women and smoking — Taking a lesson from the success of advocacy to reduce breast cancer, we must make concerted efforts to call public attention to the toll of lung cancer and other smoking-related diseases on women's health. Women affected by tobacco-related diseases and their families and friends can partner with women's and girls' organizations, women's magazines, female celebrities, and others — not only in an effort to raise awareness of tobacco-related disease as a women's issue, but also to call for policies and programs that deglamorize and discourage tobacco use.
Recognize that nonsmoking is by far the norm among women— Publicize that most women are nonsmokers. Nearly four-fifths of U.S. women are nonsmokers, and in some subgroup populations, smoking is relatively rare (e.g., only 11.2 % of women who have completed college are current smokers, and only 5.4 % of black high school seniors girls are daily smokers). It important to recognize that among adult women those who are most empowered, as measured by educational attainment, are the least likely to be smokers. Moreover, most women who smoke want to quit.
Conduct further studies of the relationship between smoking and certain outcomes of importance to women's health— Additional research is needed to explore these issues:
The link between exposure to environmental tobacco smoke and the risk of breast cancer.
Cigarette brand variations in toxicity and whether any of these possible variations may be related to changes in lung cancer histology during the past decade.
Changes in tobacco products and whether increased exposure to tobacco-specific nitrosamines may be related to the increased incidence rates of adenocarcinoma (malignant glandular tumor) of the lung.
Health effects of smoking among women in the developing world.