Nov. 28 --
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:
"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.
The American Cancer Society has more about women and smoking.
SOURCE: The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, news release, Nov. 3, 2008