Vaping causes significant harm to our families and loved ones. In a previous article by Tarra Sloan, Christy D’Ambrosio attempted to sound the alarm after first-hand experience witnessing how a seemingly simple health problem could escalate from a stomach ache to a rendered coma in just a matter of days. Yet, despite these dangers, vaping and smoking continue to grow in popularity.
It has become clear that stopping vaping is not just a concern for mothers but for women everywhere. According to the CDC, about 10 of every 100 adult women smoke cigarettes. In this article, we delve deeper into the dangers that smoking and vaping pose to women’s health and highlight three crucial tips for cessation.
Impact on women’s health
The dangers of smoking and vaping extend far beyond the lungs, affecting nearly every aspect of women’s health. One critical area of concern is the impact on reproductive health. Recent research has illuminated the association between smoking and menstrual discomfort. Women exposed to passive smoking are more likely to experience menstrual pain than women who aren’t (72.38% vs. 64.39%), including symptoms such as dysmenorrhea, illness, weakness, and restlessness during menstruation.
These discomforts affect a woman’s quality of life and hint at deeper health concerns, including breast cancer. Evidence suggests that both active and passive smoking increase the risk of breast cancer (odd ratio of 1.15 to 1.17, respectively) in women, particularly in premenopausal cases. Active smoking notably increased the risk of estrogen receptor-positive risk for breast cancer. Moreover, the toxins in tobacco smoke and the potentially harmful chemicals in e-cigarette aerosol can lead to adverse pregnancy outcomes such as preterm birth or low birth weight. Such findings emphasize the urgent need for women to reconsider their smoking habits, as the health stakes are undeniably high.
Tips for cessation
Explore nicotine replacement therapy
Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) has proven to be an effective tool for quitting smoking. For women looking to quit, there are several oral products that have different forms and flavors to cater to sensitive taste buds. The nicotine pouches listed here by Prilla, such as Lucy Mango and ZYN Coffee, come in varying strengths to accommodate individual preferences. These are tucked under the oral mucosa to release nicotine in controlled intervals, offering a more discreet alternative to nicotine gum or inhalers. This allows women smokers to manage their nicotine addiction around their loved ones or while doing their daily tasks in public.
Seek professional support
Quitting smoking or vaping is not an easy task, and it’s crucial to seek professional support. Healthcare providers can offer guidance, resources, and medications to assist with cessation. For instance, women smokers who are pregnant may require special care.
In some cases, e-cigarettes may effectively induce smoking cessation among pregnant women. However, doctors tend to recommend topical forms of NRT, such as nicotine patches from Nicorette, as seen in this trial from 2022. These patches provide a safer release of nicotine, helping pregnant women gradually reduce their nicotine intake while protecting the health of their unborn children. Consulting a healthcare professional ensures that the cessation plan aligns with individual health needs and the unique challenges women face in different stages of their lives.
Build a support system
Women can benefit from connecting with friends or family members who understand their struggles and can provide encouragement and accountability. Consider joining smoking cessation support groups or online communities such as Smokefree Women. These groups connect you with individuals who are going through similar experiences, offering a sense of camaraderie and shared determination. Sharing the goal of quitting with loved ones can make the journey more manageable and less isolating.
Smoking cessation is not just about quitting — it’s about reclaiming a healthier, smoke-free future. The path to a smoke-free life is challenging, but the rewards for improved health and well-being for all women are immeasurable.
Author: Olivia Stone