There is no shortage of research that proves cigarettes are bad for you. From lung cancer to emphysema, the bottom line is they can kill. But just how bad is it for women in comparison to men? A recent study by The Lancet says that women may be at higher risk than men when it comes to heart disease. Why? Because apparently we smoke more forcefully than our male counterparts.
In the study, The Lancet found that a woman’s risk of heart disease goes up 2% more than male smokers for every year that she smokes. Overall, smoking women are at risk 1.25 times more than men for heart disease. Researchers don’t have a definitive answer to why this is the case but they hypothesize that it may be because of biological differences and the fact that women may simply be more prone to heart disease than men.
But the study’s authors (Dr. Rachel R Huxley from the University of Minnesota and Dr. Mark Woodward from John Hopkins University) also say that it could also be attributed to the way women smoke:
“Women might extract a greater quantity of carcinogens and other toxic agents from the same number of cigarettes than men. This occurrence could explain why women who smoke have double the risk of lung cancer compared with their male counterparts.”
Interesting. How is it possible that women extract a greater quantity of carcinogens than men? Is it that we smoke more forcefully, or more passionately, than our male counterparts? I’ve known many male and female smokers and I have never outright noticed a difference in the way they smoke, so for me this is the most shocking reasoning for why female smokers are more prone to heart disease. It also makes me wonder how conclusive those study really is. It seems a bit unfair that women get the short end of the stick, but perhaps research like this can work as motivation to nix the habit once and for all. Hopefully it won’t just encourage current smokers to puff more daintily…