From The Office on Women's Health
Smoking increases your risk of major health problems, including:
- Heart disease
- Lung disease
- Gum disease
- Eye problems that can lead to blindness
Smoking causes many other problems related to reproductive health:
- Women who smoke are at increased risk for cervical cancer. Women who take birth control pills and also smoke have a higher risk of stroke.
- Smoking can make illnesses last longer and make it harder to get pregnant.
On top of all the health problems caused by smoking, it also stains your teeth, fingers, and fingernails, gives you bad breath, and causes wrinkles.
African-American women have lower smoking rates than white women. However, their lung cancer rates are no lower than white women's. African-American women are also more likely to die from lung cancer than white women. Smoking is the biggest risk factor for lung cancer. And research suggests that African-Americans who smoke are more likely to develop lung cancer than other smokers.
Latinas have lower smoking rates than most other groups of women. In fact, as a group, Latinas have exceeded the Healthy People 2010 goal to lower the number of smokers. That's great! Still, some Latinas smoke, which is the biggest risk factor for lung cancer. Lung cancer is the number two cause of cancer deaths among Latinas.
About 1 in 4 Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander women smokes. Smoking is the biggest risk factor for lung cancer. And research suggests that Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders who smoke are more likely to develop lung cancer than other smokers.
Tobacco is an important part of American Indian and Alaska Native culture. Yet, cigarette smoking is not a traditional way to use tobacco. American Indians and Alaska Natives have the highest smoking rates of any group in the United States. In fact, 29 percent of American Indian and Alaska Native women smoke — more than any other minority.