Women, Pregnancy and Tobacco
- About 20.5% of adult women in Colorado smoke cigarettes. More than 312,000 Colorado women are current smokers, which costs the state over $472 million annually in health care costs.
- An estimated 62,000 women die each year of lung cancer, which has surpassed breast cancer as the leading cause of cancer deaths among women. Since 1950, lung cancer mortality rates for women have increased 600%.
HEART DISEASE AND STROKE:
- Women who smoke greatly increase their risk of heart attack and stroke. Each year, approximately 34,000 deaths from heart disease and 8,000 deaths from stroke among women are attributed to smoking.
- Tobacco use is associated with complications of pregnancy, early menopause and reduced fertility
- Tobacco use during pregnancy is the most important modifiable cause of poor pregnancy outcomes. Tobacco use increases the risk of miscarriage, stillbirths, pre-term delivery and infant death, and is a cause of low birth weight.
LOW BIRTH WEIGHT:
- Eliminating smoking during pregnancy could prevent about 20% of cases of low birth weight and 8% of pre-term deliveries.
- Infants are more likely to die from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) if their mothers smoke during and after pregnancy.
- Tobacco use by mothers during pregnancy can adversely affect children after birth. In the U.S., mothers who smoke at least 10 cigarettes a day cause between 8,000-26,000 new cases of asthma among children.
- Each year between 200,000 and 1 million children with asthma have their condition worsened by exposure to secondhand smoke. If mothers expose their children to secondhand smoke, there is an increased risk of pneumonia, bronchitis and fluid in the middle ear.
Information for this fact sheet came from the National Center for Tobacco-Free Kids and the 2001 Surgeon General’s Report entitled Women and Smoking: A Report of the Surgeon General.
© 2023 (CTEPA) The Colorado Tobacco Education and Prevention Alliance
The Colorado Tobacco Education and Prevention Alliance