How Women Are More at Risk from Smoking than Men?

Though lung cancer rates among men are showing a welcome decline in recent times, worryingly this is not a parallel case with lung cancer among women.

The fact is that women seem to be more affected by the carcinogens and other harmful toxins present in cigarettes than men, and a number of different studies have demonstrated this.

Consider the many reasons why smoking affects women more than men.

Lung Cancer

Female SmokersA study has shown that women may be more likely to develop lung cancer as a result of smoking than men;

also women are more likely to die from their disease than men and that women who developed the disease did so at a younger average age.

Studies have demonstrated that women may get lung cancer after fewer years of smoking than men.

It is thought that the female hormone estrogen could play a role in the development of lung cancer – this is demonstrated by the fact that women who undergo surgical menopause (removal of their ovaries prior to natural menopause) are at a higher risk of developing lung cancer than women who undergo natural menopause.


Women are also more likely than men to develop the disease of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and they may develop this even if they smoke fewer cigarettes than men.

Smoking during pregnancy

As progenitor of future generations, smoking by women during pregnancy is seen to be particularly pernicious. It can lead to problems all of which are not even fully understood, though we do know that smoking during pregnancy can lead to birth defects, low birth weight and premature delivery.

Breast cancer risk rises among female smokers

It isn’t just the risk of lung cancer, but also breast cancer risk that rises among female smokers.

Heard disease risk is also higher among female smokers

Smoking also seems to cause more damage to the heart and its blood vessels according to a Norwegian study, so that women who smoke tend to develop heart disease earlier in life than do men who smoke.

Bronchioalveolar carcinoma (BAC)

This is a rare form of lung cancer that is seen to be more common among women than among men.

So while there are innumerable reasons for any smoker to give up smoking, there seems to be even more acute reasons for women to do so, not just as the mothers to future generations but as individuals responsible for and in charge of their own health.

Perhaps checking into substance abuse treatment centers will make you fare better in your quest to stop smoking than various smoking cessation aids can.