By: Red Hot Mamas
Published: August 16, 2012
If everyone knows the harmful effects of cigarettes, then why do 1 out of 5 women in the US (about 20 million) continue to smoke? For women at menopause, the effects are even more unpleasant. Here are the hard, cold facts:
- Women who smoke more than 10 cigarettes per day are 40% more likely to go into menopause earlier than non-smokers (about 1 to 2 years earlier).
- Early menopause is likely to be associated with a larger number/higher risk of postmenopausal health problems, such as osteoporois, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer’s disease and others.
- Carcinogens from cigarette smoke may have an impact on how the body makes and/or gets rid of estrogen.
- Carcinogens from cigarette smoke may kill a woman’s eggs.
- If you are a woman who smokes you are 35% more likely to break your hip after menopause than a non-smoker.
- Former smoker? You have a 15% greater risk of hip fracture. For every year that you smoke, your risk of a hip fracture after menopause increases. Smoking after menopause increases that risk even more.
- Women who smoke experience symptoms of hot flashes and difficulty sleeping to a greater degree than women who don’t.
- Women who smoke are more susceptible to these diseases: obstructive pulmonary disease, heart disease and cancers. Osteoporosis, psoriasis, gum disease and tooth loss are also higher in women who smoke.
Quitting smoking is simple but not easy. Here are some helpful tips for quitting:
- Think about your loved ones: Think about the dangers of second hand smoke. Children of smokers are three times more likely to smoke.
- Take up a hobby or sport to take your mind off smoking.
- Think of the money you save. Put it into the bank and before you know it, you can probably take a mini vacation on what you have saved.
- Tell yourself that you may have a weak moment. When you do, focus your energies on something else.
- Get professional help or join a support group. You may need the support of others around you.
Think it’s too late to quit? No way. Statistics show people who benefit the most from quitting are older people who have smoked their whole lives. According to the journal Tobacco Control, the majority of lives saved due to the more widespread use of smoking cessation programs would be among older smokers, particularly those in the 45-60 age group, because that’s the age when smoking related diseases really start catching up with people.
Quitting not only makes menopause symptoms more manageable, but also greatly improves your overall quality of life. If you smoke, but are still a few years away from menopause, consider finding a way to stop now, so that you can experience a normal and healthy change of life. If you need help stopping, talk with your doctor about your options.