Wednesday, August 01, 2007

This One's for the Girls (OK, Boys Allowed, Too)

Today is Chantix Day 56 and Smoke-free Day 44.

I ran across this very well documented and very lengthy list of information at June Russell's Health Facts: Smoking - Women about how smoking affects women in particular (article now added to my Linky Loos). Some of the information is a little bit older, so things like just how many women still smoke may now be different, but the health facts themselves likely haven't changed much.

Here are just a few of the tidbits that I didn't know (copied directly from throughout the article):
  • Women fear breast cancer more than lung cancer, yet lung cancer kills three times as many women as breast cancer. (HealthCentral - Reuters Health -June 2000)
  • Women who smoke are more likely to get lung cancer, and 23,000 more women will die of lung cancer than breast cancer. In general, women have a harder time quitting than men and women’s lung cancer rates more than doubled between 1974 and 1994).“Women and Lung Cancer,” Washington Post Health, Oct. 1998)
  • Women who smoke are twice as likely to become incontinent. (Isadore Rosenfeld, M.D., in Parade magazine, June 27, 1999)
  • Women, take note: Smoking is not an equal-opportunity addiction. Female smokers are up to twice as likely as male smokers to suffer strokes, heart attacks and lung cancer. Smoking is linked to low birth weight babies, severe PMS and early menopause - and it is harder for women to quit smoking. Husband’s offer less support for their addicted wives than wives do for their husbands. Have you really come such a long way, baby? (“Smoking Worse for Women,” Health Notes, Consumer Reports on Health, June 2001)
  • Smoking speeds up an enzyme that metabolizes the pill and can cause incidents of break-through bleeding, and smoking is associated with a higher pill failure rate. (Adriane Fugh-Berman, M.D., Natural Health magazine, April 2001)
  • Women are 4 times more likely to develop cervical cancer than women who don't use tobacco, and women seem to be more vulnerable to lung cancer than are men. Women tobacco users are at an increased risk of facial wrinkles, gum inflammation and cancers of the lips and mouth. (“Smoking particularly dangerous for women,” Reuters Health, - Nov. 2000)
That's actually just a small sampling of what's listed over there. I shouldn't be surprised any more when I learn more about the harmful effects of smoking, but still I am. I mean, incontinence? Really? Who knew?

One more thing today related to the information above. Over on Tracee's blog post with tons of comments, Carolyn gave a link to a powerful video on YouTube called "Thanks, Tobacco: You Killed My Mom." What this son posted along with the video as a description is worth the long read, and here's just a bit of it:
First, we have done this to honor Mom's last wishes: tell people not to smoke. Second, we have completed this very emotional project to honor her memory, and to help us as we continue through the grieving process. Finally, we are aware that much of the anti-smoking media is not so real to life--it doesn't show the suffering, what the families go through, and the pain that cigarettes actually cause.
If you haven't seen it already or experienced the same with a loved one first hand, it's strikingly "real." As Carolyn warned, it's not for the faint of heart. Bring your Kleenex.

Today is another day that I am grateful to be done smoking.


  1. And don't forget, for female smokers over 30 who are on the pill, the risk of stroke is even greater. YEAH for quitting!

    Thank you for the link to that video. I'm not sure I have it in me to watch it today, but I will check it out soon. I have been thinking a lot about my grandmother (who smoked for 50+ years and died from a stroke), and of my own mom (a nonsmoker) - of the generations of pain this addiction has caused my family.

  2. Yep, that is true. I'd forgotten about the pill issue.

    You've got even more reasons to stay quit seeing it in your family.

  3. Maggie - Thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement. It's nice to know that there are others out there and that it CAN be done.

  4. Hey, Tasina, thanks for stopping by my blog! There are lots of us, and you can absolutely do this.

  5. Nooooooo, who is going to recover the cost of a box of Kleenexes that I soaked with tears watching the video. OK, I watched a ton of all these lung cancer stories and I'm filled with grief. I guess I could use a reinforcement of motivation to stay quit. Just so, so, so sad that so many people are dying right now and will be dying as a results of all this smoking - and they're endangering everyone else by making us all secondsmoke.... Just really torturing to think of all of that and this, Maggie. And it also reminded me of my mother. She already has these bouts of coughing she can't stop. I think if I showed her this video, she'd quit. Too bad she's so far and without the means to use internet....
    Thank you, Maggie, for sharing. We all need to be very educated to fight this evil.

  6. Agreed, Stan. It was hard to watch. I thought the hacking that I had was horrible, and Tom would get concerned, but that was where it could have headed and can if I ever think smoking sounds like a good idea. I think what I saw will stick with me, and his mother may one day help to save my life because of it.

  7. I thought I was incontinent due to pushing humans out of my crotch not because I was a smoker. Still doing the kegels.

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