ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
Know Your Asthma Triggers
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Pharoah's Wine Jar Yields Medicinal Secrets
Music Therapy For Prehistoric Man?
Meditation, Yoga Might Switch Off Stress Genes
ANIMAL CARE
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
Chronic Low Back Pain Is on the Rise
Tips to Ease an Aching Back
'Snowbirds' Beware the Climate Changes
CANCER
Seaweed May Help Treat Lymphoma
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
Where You Live May Affect Your Cancer Diagnosis
CAREGIVING
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
Diabetes Epidemic Now Poses Challenges for Nursing Homes
Coordination Has Led to Quicker Heart Treatment
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Salt Boosts Blood Pressure in High-Risk Patients
Firefighters Have Narrower-Than-Normal Arteries, Study Finds
Support Network May Play Role in Benefits of Drinking
COSMETIC
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
DENTAL, ORAL
Obesity Boosts Gum Disease Risk
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
Mom's Vitamin D Levels Affect Baby's Dental Health
DIABETES
Vitamin K Slows Insulin Resistance in Older Men
Boosting Vitamin D Can Do a Heart Good
Coffee, Tea Might Stave Off Diabetes
DIET, NUTRITION
Is Coffee Good or Bad for Your Health?
B Vitamins Might Lower Stroke Risk
To Feel Better, Low-Fat Diet May Be Best
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Dementia Underestimated in Developing Countries
Vitamin D Deficit May Trigger MS Risk Gene
Walkable Neighborhoods Keep the Pounds Off
EYE CARE, VISION
Eye Disease, Cognitive Decline Linked in Study
Music Can Help Restore Stroke Patients' Sight
Florida Vision Test Law: Fewer Traffic Deaths Among Elderly
FITNESS
Super Bowl Loss Can 'Kill' Some Fans
Good Warm-Ups Could Halve Sports Injuries
Want to Stop Cancer? You Can, Experts Say
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
GENERAL HEALTH
Parents Influence Sex Decisions, Hispanic Teens Say
15-Point Test Gauges Alzheimer's Risk
Diet, Exercise May Slow Kidney Disease Progression
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Most Fast-Food French Fries Cooked in Unhealthiest Oil
Fish Oil Supplements Help With Heart Failure
Low Vitamin D Levels Linked to Heart Disease
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Teen Stress May Have Roots in First Three Years of Life
Frequent Feedings May Be Making Babies Fat
Boosting Kids' Stroke IQ May Save Lives
MEN'S HEALTH
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
Common Social Groups and Race, Seem to Help People Relate
17 Ways to Create the Perfect Workday
Keeping Mentally Active Seems To Keep The Brain Active
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
SENIORS
The Healthy Habits of Centenarians
Living Alone Increases Odds of Developing Dementia
Martial Arts Training May Save Seniors' Hips
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Women Smokers Lose 14.5 Years Off Life Span
Simple Carbs Pose Heart Risk for Women
Natural Relief for Painful Menstrual Cramps
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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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