Getting Real With Shadra Bruce

Women who are experiencing symptoms of menopause or perimenopause and have decreased estrogen production face increases in their risk of developing major diseases like osteoporosis, heart disease, and cancer. Smoking exacerbates the risk significantly.  Women smokers are 12 times more likely to die from lung cancer, but women who smoke also face an increased chance of getting another form of cancer (uterine, cervical, kidney, lymphoma, leukemia). Women who smoke are two to four times more likely to have a stroke and the risk of heart attack rises dramatically. More than 90% of people who die from COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) are smokers.

You can change your eating habits, exercise regularly, and lose weight, but if you smoke you still face more health risks than a woman of the same age who is 100 pounds overweight.

Cigarettes are very addictive. Quitting can be tough, but it is the single most important effort you can make to improve your health.

There is help available!

Most employers will pay for smoker cessation classes, and health departments often offer smoking cessation courses for little cost. The government has a smoking cessation website with more information to help you quit.

If you can succeed in quitting, your lungs will immediately be healthier. After 10 years smoke-free, you no longer will have an increased risk for stroke. Your life expectancy will increase (smoking takes an immediate ten years off your life).

If you are finding it difficult to quit for yourself, consider quitting for the important people in your life. Second-hand smoke is deadly to the people who are around you when you smoke, and now they are finding that third-hand smoke (the particles that are embedded in your clothing, carpet, and walls) contain the same carcinogens as the smoke you inhale. If your baby crawls on the carpet inside the home where you smoke, he is at risk too.

The simple truth is smoking shortens your life and reduces the quality of life you have remaining.

Isn’t it time?