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Smoking and How To Quit

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Women and Smoking (2001)

Pack of cigarettes displaying the Surgeon General's Warning

This Surgeon General's report provides information on the toll smoking takes on women's health. Specific chapters focus on:

  • Patterns of tobacco use among women and girls. This includes the numbers of women who smoke broken down by specific groups, including adult women, teenage girls, and pregnant women. The report also discusses when women and girls start smoking, types of tobacco use besides cigarettes, how women quit, and exposure to environmental, or secondhand, tobacco smoke.
  • Health consequences of tobacco use. The report describes the many health problems related to smoking. These include cancer, heart disease, lung diseases, diabetes, menstrual problems, reduced bone density, increased risk of bones breaking, arthritis, neurological diseases, and eye diseases. Also discussed are the effects of smoking on the skin (facial wrinkling), changes in the body when a person becomes dependent on nicotine, and the health effects of exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke.
  • Influences on tobacco use among women. This section focuses on what makes women start smoking, keep on smoking, and stop smoking. Also discussed are ways that cigarettes are promoted to women through advertising.
  • Efforts to reduce tobacco use among women. This section describes issues about quitting that specifically involve women. Ways to prevent women and girls from starting to smoke are also discussed. Successful programs to reduce tobacco use among women are highlighted.
  • A vision for the future: what is needed to reduce smoking among women. The report's conclusion looks at what needs to be done to reduce and prevent smoking among women and girls. It discusses the tobacco industry's targeting of women, educating women about the health effects of smoking, and supporting smoke-free environments.

To read the full report or the summary, go to http://surgeongeneral.gov/library/womenandtobacco.

Content last updated: July 16, 2012.

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