By: Lawrence R. Deyton, M.S.P.H., M.D.
The health of every American is of the utmost importance to the Food and Drug Administration, which regulates the manufacture, marketing, and distribution of tobacco products. Our Center for Tobacco Products works to improve public health, with the goal of making sure that tobacco-related death and disease is part of America’s past, not its future. National Women’s Health Week, May 13-19, provides an opportunity for us to reach out and remind the women in our lives about the dangers of tobacco use and exposure to second-hand smoke — which claims the lives of nearly 200,000 women every year.
Never starting to use tobacco products and quitting tobacco use – for those who do use tobacco – is proven to lead to longer and healthier lives for everyone.
There is no question that tobacco use is dangerous to women. Just consider a few of the facts:
- An estimated 173,940 women die every year due to cigarette smoking
- An estimated 18,000 non-smoking women die every year from exposure to second-hand smoke
- Smoking causes almost 80% of lung cancer deaths in women
- Smoking causes cervical cancer and eight other cancers
- Smoking causes infertility and poor pregnancy outcomes
- Smoking causes low bone density and hip fractures in women
National Women’s Health Week is the perfect time for you — or one of the important women in your life — to break a dangerous addiction to tobacco, and for those who do not use tobacco, it is a time to be empowered to never start. Need help? Here are some great resources:
- Resources for Women to Help Quit Smoking
- 1-800-QUITNOW (1-800-784-8669)
- For the hearing impaired: TTY 1-800-332-8615
- CDC’s Tips from Former Smokers Campaign
- FDA Center for Tobacco Products
When we spend countless hours taking care of our families and friends, it’s far too easy to forget to look after our own health. This coming week, make an investment in yourself and the women who are close to you by committing to a life that’s free of tobacco-related disease and death.
Lawrence R. Deyton, M.S.P.H., M.D., is the Director of FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products