ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
New Spray Could Benefit Cystic Fibrosis Patients
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Meditation May Boost Short-Term Visual Memory
Regular Yoga May Improve Eating Habits
Naprapathy: A Hands-On Approach to Pain Management
ANIMAL CARE
Beware of Dog Bites
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
'Snowbirds' Beware the Climate Changes
Cane Use May Cut Progression of Knee Osteoarthritis
Most Kids With Type 1 Diabetes Lack Vitamin D
CANCER
Massage Therapy Helps Those With Advanced Cancer
Smokeout '08: The Perfect Time to Quit
Family History Key Player in Brain Cancer Risk
CAREGIVING
Few Hospitals Embracing Electronic Health Record Systems
Distance No Bar to Kidney Transplants in Remote Areas
With Alzheimer's, Health-Care Costs Could Triple
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
Secondhand Smoke Quickly Affects Blood Vessels
An Apple a Day May Help Keep Heart Disease Away
COSMETIC
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
Health Tip: After Liposuction
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
DENTAL, ORAL
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
Acupuncture May Ease Anxiety Over Dental Work
DIABETES
Treatment for Type 2 Diabetes Updated
Older Diabetics With Depression Face Higher Death Rate
Vitamin K Slows Insulin Resistance in Older Men
DIET, NUTRITION
Decline of Underweight Children in U.S. Continue to Fall
Vinegar Might Help Keep Off Pounds
Dark Chocolate May Lower Stroke Risk
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Smog Standards Need Tightening, Activists Say
Gene Mutation May Cause Some Cases of Seasonal Affective Disorder
Seasons Arriving 2 Days Earlier, Study Says
EYE CARE, VISION
Gene-Transfer Proves Safe for Vision Problem
Kids Think Glasses Make Others Look Smart, Honest
Green Tea May Ward Off Eye Disease
FITNESS
Walk Long, Slow and Often to Help the Heart
Keep Safety in Mind While Your Kids Are Cooling Off in the Water
Yoga Can Ease Lower Back Pain
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
GENERAL HEALTH
Winter's Bitter Cold Poses Health Dangers
Meat Additives May Be Dangerous for Kidney Patients
New Methods Could Speed Production of Flu Vaccines
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Cherry-Enriched Diet Cut Heart Risks in Rats
Years of Heavy Smoking Raises Heart Risks
Too-Low Blood Pressure Can Also Bring Danger
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Babies Cared For In Others Homes Might Become Heavy Toddlers
Breast-Feeding May Protect a Woman's Heart
Too Many Infants Short on Vitamin D
MEN'S HEALTH
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
MENTAL HEALTH
Meditation, Yoga Might Switch Off Stress Genes
Green Spaces Boost the Body and the Mind
17 Ways to Create the Perfect Workday
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
Before Conceiving, Take Folic Acid for One Full Year
SENIORS
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
Seniors Who Volunteer May Live Longer
Living Alone Increases Odds of Developing Dementia
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Most Women With Osteoporosis Unaware of Raised Fracture Risk
Prenatal Stress May Boost Baby's Asthma Risk
Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
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Women Smokers Lose 14.5 Years Off Life Span

THURSDAY, Nov. 27 (HealthDay News) -- During Lung Cancer Awareness Month in November, female smokers should take advantage of available resources, pick a quit day, and start taking steps toward kicking the habit, urges The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).

Even though smoking takes an average of 14.5 years off women's lives, almost one in five American women age 18 and older smokes.

"The damaging effects of smoking on women are extensive, well-documented, and can be observed from the cradle to the premature grave," Dr. Sharon Phelan said in an organization news release. She helped develop ACOG's smoking cessation materials for health care providers.

"Smoking is a harmful habit that negatively affects nearly every organ in the body. There's just no good reason not to quit," she said.

Here's a list of the dangers:

* Smoking is the main cause of lung cancer, the leading cause of cancer death in women. Since 1950, lung cancer deaths among women have increased more than 600 percent, according to ACOG.
* Smoking also significantly increases the risk of many other cancers in women, including breast, oral, pharynx, larynx, esophageal, pancreatic, kidney, bladder, uterine, and cervical cancers.
* Women who smoke are twice as likely to develop coronary heart disease and 10 times more likely to die from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) than nonsmokers.
* Smoking increases the risk of emphysema, bronchitis, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, cataracts, lower bone density after menopause, and hip fracture. It can also contribute to early menopause, gum disease, tooth loss, and premature skin aging.
* Reproductive-age women who smoke may have trouble conceiving, and pregnant women who smoke are at high risk of delivering preterm or low birth weight infants or having babies with poor lung function, bronchitis or asthma.
* Women over age 35 who smoke and take birth control pills are at risk for developing deadly blood clots.

"Pregnant women should absolutely not smoke, and smoking should not be allowed in the home after a baby is born," Phelan said. "Unfortunately, we know that infants and young children are more heavily exposed to secondhand smoke than adults, and parents, guardians, or other members of the household often smoke around them."

Almost 60 percent of children ages 3 to 11 are exposed to secondhand smoke, which puts them at increased risk for a wide range of health problems.

More information

The American Cancer Society has more about women and smoking.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, news release, Nov. 3, 2008

Last Updated: Nov. 27, 2008

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