ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
No Verdict Yet on Grape Seed Extract vs. Breast Cancer
Quit Smoking the Holistic Way
Meditation May Boost Short-Term Visual Memory
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
Rheumatoid Arthritis a Threat to the Heart
Body Fat, Muscle Distribution Linked to RA Disability
Tai Chi May Help Ward Off Knee Pain in Seniors
CANCER
Researchers ID Genetic Markers for Esophageal Cancer
Some Spices Cut Cancer Risk That Comes With Grilled Burgers
Green Tea Compound Slowed Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
CAREGIVING
Are Hospital Mobile Phones Dialing Up Superbugs?
Few Hospitals Embracing Electronic Health Record Systems
Child's Food Allergies Take Toll on Family Plans
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Night Shift Work Hard on the Heart
Health Tip: Are You Anemic?
Potassium-Rich Foods May Cut Stroke, Heart Disease Risk
COSMETIC
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
DENTAL, ORAL
Hormones May Be to Blame for Women's Cavity Rates
Gummy Bears Join Cavity Fight
A Sweet Way to Shield Baby's Teeth
DIABETES
Strict Blood Sugar Lowering Won't Ease Diabetes Heart Risk
Exercise Protects Black Women From Type 2 Diabetes
Findings Challenge Tight Glucose Control for Critically Ill Patients
DIET, NUTRITION
Is Your Refrigerator Getting Enough Attention For Your Raw Food Success?
Compound in Berries May Lessen Sun Damage
Keep Stress Off the Holiday Meal Menu, Expert Advises
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Population-Based Strategy Urged to Cut U.S. Obesity Rate
Plastics Chemical Tied to Aggression in Young Girls
Smog Standards Need Tightening, Activists Say
EYE CARE, VISION
Kids Who Spend More Time Outdoors Have Better Vision
Retinal Gene Is Linked to Childhood Blindness
Impotence Drugs Don't Harm Vision: Study
FITNESS
Almost Two-Thirds of Americans Meet Exercise Guidelines
Antioxidants Blunt Exercise Benefit, Study Shows
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
GENERAL HEALTH
Swine Flu May Pose Problems for Pregnant Women
How Weight Loss Can Help the Heart
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Obese People Seem to Do Better With Heart Disease
Arteries Age Twice as Fast in Smokers
Women Who Run May Benefit From Extra Folic Acid
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Even Young Kids Can Learn CPR
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Teen Stress May Have Roots in First Three Years of Life
MEN'S HEALTH
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Low Iron Levels Cut Cancer Risk in Men With PAD
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
MENTAL HEALTH
Shop 'Til You Drop: You May Feel Better
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
Optimism May Boost Immune System
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Prenatal Stress May Boost Baby's Asthma Risk
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
SENIORS
Fitness Fades Fast After 45
Tai Chi May Help Ward Off Knee Pain in Seniors
A Little Alcohol May Stave Off Alzheimer's
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Most Women With Osteoporosis Unaware of Raised Fracture Risk
Exercise, Weight Control May Keep Fibromyalgia at Bay
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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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