Posted by on June 6, 2014 - 1:50pm

The Up in Smoke: All You Need to Know about Cigarettes info graphic inspired today's post.

We have all known about the harms of smoking on one's health for quite some time, but the reality is, approximately 23 million women in the United States still smoke cigarettes--that is 23% of the female population! Smoking is damaging to both men and women's health and causes cancers that affect the lungs, mouth, esophagus, kidney, and more. However, women may face increased health problems due to smoking. Smoking while pregnant can cause damaging chemicals to pass from mother to fetus and may lead to preterm delivery, low birthweight, premature rupture of membranes, placenta previa, miscarriage, and even neonatal death. Different ailments, such as Pelvic Inflammatory Diseases (PID) are more common in women who smoke than non-smokers. In fact, PID occurs with 33% more frequency in women who smoke. Lastly, women who begin smoking in their teens increases her likelihood of early menopause by three times when compared to non-smokers! (Source on Women's Health)

To learn more about the effects of smoking, check out this info graphic "Up in Smoke: All You Need to Know about Cigarettes" provided by

Posted by on January 10, 2014 - 3:37pm

In the January of 1964, the Surgeon General made its first report linking cigarette smoking to lung cancer. Yesterday, the CDC announced a new triumph in the war against lung cancer by announcing that the rate of new lung cancer cases have decreased among men and women in the United States since 2005. Lung cancer incidence rates decreased 2.6% per year among men, and 1.1% per year among women. While, generally, this is a significant victory, the differing rates between men and women are troubling.

For many years, the female population was not smoking at the same rate as the male population, but the CDC stated, “smoking behaviors among women are now similar to those among men,” so “women are now experiencing the same risk of lung cancer as men.” If women have the same risk as men, it is troubling, therefore, that efforts to decrease new cancer incidences in women is declining at a slower rate than in men. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among men and women in the United States, and sex-based research must be conducted to determine why women seem to be lagging behind men in these decreased incidences.

The CDC attributes these decreased rates to tobacco prevention and control programs. The CDC calls for a continued emphasis on local, state, and national tobacco prevention strategies to mitigate future lung cancer diagnoses. Some strategies that have been accredited to this reduced incidence rate are increased tobacco prices, smoke-free laws, restricted tobacco advertising, and a slew of mass media campaigns against smoking.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Posted by on September 1, 2011 - 7:07am

Current cigarette smokers have a higher risk of bladder cancer than previously reported, and the risk in women is now comparable to that in men, according to a study by scientists from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) . This latest study uses data from over 450,000 participants in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study, a questionnaire-based study that was initiated in 1995, with follow-up through the end of 2006.

While previous studies showed that only 20 to 30 percent of bladder cancer cases in women were caused by smoking, these new data indicate that smoking is responsible for about half of female bladder cancer cases – similar to the proportion found in men in current and previous studies.  The increase in the proportion of smoking-attributable bladder cancer cases among women may be a result of the increased prevalence of smoking by women, so that men and women are about equally likely to smoke, as observed in the current study and in the U.S. population overall, according to surveillance by the CDC. The majority of the earlier studies were conducted at time periods or in geographic regions where smoking was much less common among women.

The researchers found that the amount of risk brought on by smoking, called excess risk, was higher in this study than in previously reported. “Current smokers in our study had a fourfold excess risk of developing bladder cancer, compared to a threefold excess risk in previous studies. The stronger association between smoking and bladder cancer is possibly due to changes in cigarette composition or smoking habits over the years,” said study author Neal Freedman, Ph.D., in NCI’s Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics (DCEG). “Incidence rates of bladder cancer in the United States have been relatively stable over the past 30 years, despite the fact that smoking rates have decreased overall. The higher risk, as compared to studies reported in the mid-to-late 1990s, may explain why bladder cancer rates haven’t declined.”

Although there have been reductions in the concentrations of tar and nicotine in cigarette smoke, there have been apparent increases in the concentrations of certain carcinogens associated with bladder cancer. A 2009 NCI/DCEG study was the first to suggest a higher risk for smoking-induced bladder cancer than previously reported.  That report, based on data from the New England Bladder Cancer Study, found that the association between cigarette smoking and risk of bladder cancer appeared to be stronger than it was in the mid-1990s. The results of the new study confirm the 2009 report.

In the current study, former smokers were twice as likely to develop bladder cancer as never smokers, and current smokers were four times more likely than those who never smoked. As with many other smoking-related cancers, smoking cessation was associated with reduced bladder cancer risk. Participants who had been smoke-free for at least 10 years had a lower incidence of bladder cancer compared to those who quit for shorter periods of time or who still smoked.

“Our findings provide additional evidence of the importance of preventing smoking initiation and promoting cessation for both men and women,” said senior author Christian Abnet, Ph.D., also from DCEG. “Although the prevalence of cigarette smoking has declined, about 20 percent of the U.S. adult population continues to smoke.”

Even though smoking carries the same risk for men and women, men are still about four times more likely to be diagnosed with bladder cancer.  These results, as well as those from previous studies, suggest that difference in smoking rates explain only part of the higher incidence rates in American men.  The researchers suggest that occupational exposures, as well as physiologic differences, may contribute to the gender disparity.

In 2011, approximately 69,250 people will be diagnosed with bladder cancer in the United States, and 14,990 will die from the disease.

The report was published on Aug. 16, 2011, in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Posted by on November 18, 2010 - 3:42pm

Today Is the Great American Smokeout--November 18--time to Quit!

Quitting smoking is not easy, but it can be done.

An estimated 69.7 million Americans age 12 or older use tobacco products. Smokers are urged by federal agencies to become nonsmokers during the 35th annual Great American Smokeout. The Great American Smokeout is dedicated to reducing the risk of cancer by helping those who struggle with smoking develop a plan to quit and lead a healthier lifestyle. On November 18, smokers nationwide will make the choice to either quit on this date or set in motion a plan that leads to cutting back and subsequently quitting.

Support the Great American Smokeout and help support the fight against cancer each year by making your commitment to quit smoking today. If you know someone who uses tobacco, support their efforts to quit by telling them about the Great American Smokeout.

Here are some related resources for our readers!

SmokeFree Women

Tips for Teens: The Truth About Tobacco

Free materials from the FDA Office on Women's Health

"Light" cigarettes and cancer risk.

Women, Smoking and Weight Gain