The celebration of Mothers kicked off Women’s Health Week in May (11-17). We’re urging women to take precautionary measures that will result in longer healthy lives. One way to improve your health is by quitting smoking.
According to the 2012 Wisconsin Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS), a fifth of women in Wisconsin currently smoke. In addition, 13% of Wisconsin women smoke during pregnancy—more than the national average. According to the last Surgeon General’s Report, women are also more likely than men to die from smoking. This is especially significant in Latino communities like the South Side of Milwaukee, as a half of Hispanic women who start smoking never quit.
Another startling statistic from the new Surgeon General’s Report is that women who smoke are up to 40 times more likely to develop COPD (which includes lung diseases like chronic bronchitis and emphysema) than women who don’t smoke.
The benefits of quitting are immediate and lasting and include lower blood pressure, improved circulation and lung function, as well as practical benefits like having more energy, smoother skin and even smelling better.
Officials from the Wisconsin Hispanic Tobacco Prevention Network are encouraging women who smoke to talk to their doctor or take advantage of free assistance provided in Wisconsin. “Quitting smoking will be the best decision you ever made; help is available by calling 1-800-QUIT NOW,” said Tina Rivera, Tobacco Prevention Manager at UMOS. “Quitting smoking is not easy, but you don’t have to do it alone,” Rivera added.