Why women should not smoke

Facts related to women, smoking and heart disease:

  • Women who smoke are 2 to 4 times more likely to suffer an MI (heart attack).
  • The risk for CHD is highest in women who started smoking before the age of 15.
  • CHD risk increases with the number of cigarettes smoked, and years smoked.
  • Smoking low tar or low nicotine cigarettes has little effect on reducing the risk for CHD.
  • On average, women smokers die 14.5 years earlier than non-smokers.
  • Quitting smoking eliminates 1/3 of the excess risk within 2 years of stopping.
  • 10-14 years after quitting, former smokers have the same risk of CAD as women who never smoked.
  • Cigarette smoking is the single most important, controllable risk factor for CHD in women who are less than 50 years old.
  • Smoking reduces HDL (good) cholesterol and natural estrogen levels, both of which are considered cardio-protective.
  • An estimated 1 in 5 women are current smokers.
  • The fastest growing group of smokers in the U.S. is 12-18 year old girls.
  • At $4.10/pack, one pack per day smokers would save $1,500/year if they quit. 2 packs per day smokers would save $3,000/year if they quit.