January's Wellness Topic: Setting Goals
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Amy Lee, NP
Setting Goals

Stop Smoking — An Excellent New Year's Resolution
by Amy Lee

This time of year always brings about the topic of New Year's resolutions. For many smokers, it's a good time to resolve to quit. Smoking has increasingly become a habit that many women need to break. Let's discuss women and smoking so that this New Year's resolution can be a success.

Just the facts

  • There has been a 600-percent increase in smoking related deaths for women since 1950.
  • One in six women over the age of 18 are smokers in the U.S.; that increases to nearly 20% of women age 25-44 smoke.
  • Women who smoke die an average of 14.5 years earlier than non-smokers.
  • 80 percent of lung cancer deaths are due to smoking.
  • Lung cancer has recently surpassed breast cancer as the leading cause of cancer death in women.
  • Smoking is also linked to cancers of the mouth, larynx, throat, nose and sinuses, lips, esophagus, kidney, cervix, bladder, pancreas, stomach, ovary, colon, rectum, and lymph system (leukemia).
  • Smoking raises the risk of heart disease (the leading cause of death in women), stroke, and peripheral vascular disease. It also damages the lungs resulting in Emphysema and COPD.

What about pregnancy and babies?

Smoking in pregnancy can result in damage to the placenta causing fetal growth restriction, low birth weight, preterm labor and delivery, stillbirth, miscarriage, and birth defects. Research has also demonstrated a higher rate of sudden infant death syndrome in the infants of women who smoke. Children living in the house with smoking parents have bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma, and ear infections more often.

How can you stop?

It's not easy to stop smoking. Smoking is an addiction that can be difficult to overcome. There are a variety of methods available that can help you quit, ranging from self-help programs to nicotine replacement patches, gums, or inhalers to medications. Talk with your healthcare provider about the best approach for you and start down the road to a healthier life without tobacco.

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