Smoking and secondhand smoke leads to risk for health problems
Experts say smoking impacts fertility and may make it harder for women to conceive
We make the choice to be a smoker or a non-smoker. And women who smoke, or are around others who do, face the risk of a host of medical problems.
We all know men and women are different and experts say those differences may extend to risks associated with smoking.
"There's some evidence that cigarette smoke may be somewhat more toxic for women," says Dr. Norman H. Edelman with the American Lung Association. "That is for a given amount of cigarette smoke they may be a little more likely to get lung cancer. They may be a little more likely to get chronic bronchitis and emphysema."
Some studies show women are also at higher risk for lung cancer from secondhand smoke. Researchers are still trying to explain this, but what is clear is that women who take birth control pills are at increased risk of developing blood clots and smoking raises this risk substantially.
"You can get a blood clot in your leg," says Dr. Edelman. "It may break off and go into your lung. It may make you very sick. It may even kill you."
Experts say smoking also impacts fertility and may make it harder for women to conceive. Good reasons for women to kick the habit or avoid smoking altogether, but experts point out there are plenty of good reasons for men to quit, too.
"Smoking, is for the most part, an equal opportunity killer," says Dr. Edelman.
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