Is it true that smoking is more dangerous for women than it is for men?
Smoking is something which is very harmful. Along with tobacco, cigarette smoke contains about > 1000 chemicals which are harmful. It causes brain damage, visual impairment, chronic lung disease, lung infections, lung cancer, peptic ulcer, damage to the nerves and blood vessels of the body. It is an independent risk factor for hypertension and its complications. Along with these harmful effects, it has many more health hazards for women.
Due to smoking, firstly the external beauty of a woman is spoilt. The face develops a pinched look with premature wrinkling of skin. Lips become black and dry, fingertips are blackened, whereas tongue and nails may assume a bluish look.
Women who smoke suffer more from depression than those who do not smoke. Smoking is a risk factor for causing infertility or delay in conception in women. During pregnancy, it can cause miscarriage, still birth and pre term delivery. The baby may be born low weight and with congenital abnormalities. Menstrual abnormalities are common in women smokers. Women smokers may have early menopause and suffer more severely from menopausal syndrome.
Dr Rachna Pande is a specialist in internal medicine at Ruhengeri Hospital