In 2001, the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General released a report entitled Women and Smoking that included the following:
When calling attention to public health problems, we must not misuse the word epidemic.' But there is no better word to describe the 600-percent increase since 1950 in women's death rates for lung cancer, a disease primarily caused by cigarette smoking. Clearly, smoking-related disease among women is a full-blown epidemic.
We currently know that smoking cigarettes is bad for our health. And we know that THE most preventable cause of premature death is smoking. We also know that women who smoke have an increased risk of lung cancer and breast cancer along with a selection of other grim diseases.
And yet, women continue to smoke and teenage girls continue to take up the habit. Do yourself and every woman you know a huge favor and stop smoking now. If you don't smoke, gently encourage someone who does to quit.
Need help? Try this how-to-quit-smoking resource:
What's in a Cigarette
You may have read about the harmful effects of nicotine, tar and carbon monoxide in a newspaper, maybe even on your pack of cigarettes or pouch of tobacco. But you probably don't know that they're just three of over 4,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke or that tar is a mixture of many other chemicals and that at least 50 chemicals found in tobacco smoke are known to cause cancer. Three new toxic chemicals are being added to the list on your pack of cigarettes benzene, formaldehyde and hydrogen cyanide.
Traditionally, nicotine, tar and carbon monoxide have been listed on cigarette packs. The emission level of these toxic chemicals was indicated as a single amount for example, Tar 14 mg.' The new Tobacco Products Information Regulations now require manufacturers to print information on the emission levels of six toxic chemicals. This information is presented in the form of a range (a low number and a high number). This range reflects the fact that people smoke differently and may inhale different levels of the toxic chemicals for example, Tar 14-34 mg.'
No doubt it's tough to quit smoking. Life on the whole can be pretty challenging at times, too. You CAN do it. And you WILL feel much better for it.