Women and Smoking: Health Facts and Consequences

Smoking-related diseases kill more than 140,000 some American women annually, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS). Since 1980, some 3 million US women have died prematurely from smoking-related diseases.

The research shows that women who smoke are at higher risk for a number of serious health problems, including heart disease and lung cancer than women who don't smoke.

What's more, women smokers are 12 times more likely to die from lung cancer than women who do not smoke, and they're ten times more likely to die from bronchitis and emphysema.

While the lives of all women smokers are at risk, post-menopausal women and women on birth-control pills lead the pack in succumbing to smoking-related diseases that can go on to cause death.

Women and girls have been extensively targeted in tobacco marketing. In 1999, cigarette advertising and promotion was $8.24 billion, or about $22.6 million a day for marketing in the US.

Women: consider these risks of smoking

If you're thinking of quitting, or you're not convinced that now is the "right" time, here are some health facts to consider:

  • Cancers: Lung cancer is the leading cause of death from cancer among women — surpassing breast cancer. Some 68,000 U.S. women die each year from the disease and lung cancer mortality rates among US women have increased about 600 percent since 1950. Once rare among women, lung cancer has surpassed breast cancer as the leading cause of female cancer death in the United States. It now accounts for 25 percent of all cancer deaths among women.