Effect of Tobacco Use and Dependence in Women

Lung cancer has surpassed breast cancer to become the number one cancer killer among women.

Trends in women’s lung cancer can be clearly linked to smoking behavior; currently observed increases in lung cancer rates mirror trends in women’s uptake of smoking 30-40 years ago.

Smoking cessation clinical trials reveal that the same treatments benefit both men and women. Therefore, the same interventions can be used with both men and women.

Some treatments, however, are less efficacious in women than in men (e.g., nicotine replacement therapies).

Additionally, although research suggests that women benefit from the same interventions as do men, women may face different stresses and barriers to quitting that may be addressed in treatment. These include greater likelihood of depression, greater weight control concerns, hormonal cycles, and others. This suggests that women may benefit from tobacco dependence treatments that address these topics.

Women who are considering becoming pregnant may be especially receptive to tobacco dependence treatment.

Tobacco use has been associated with fertility problems and miscarriage.

Internet Citation:

Women. U.S. Public Health Service. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/clinic/tobacco/women.htm

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