Lesser-Known Effects of Smoking Can Play Havoc with Women's Health

    New survey reveals majority of female smokers are unaware of many
    immediate and long term health risks

TORONTO, Nov. 4 /CNW/ - Many women are aware that smoking can lead to lung cancer, heart disease and premature death. But a recent survey conducted by Angus Reid on behalf of nicotine replacement therapy brands, NICODERM(R) and NICORETTE(R) reveals that the majority of Canadian women who smoke are not necessarily aware of the host of other impacts that smoking can have on their immediate and longer term health.

When asked which health concerns female smokers associated most with the habit, lung cancer was most strongly attributed by respondents (83 per cent), followed by premature aging of skin (62 per cent), dental problems such as yellowing of teeth or tooth loss (61 per cent) and heart disease (60 per cent). Yet surprisingly, fewer than two in 10 female smokers surveyed were actually aware of the link between lighting up and increased risks of developing health issues such as infertility, early onset of menopause, menstrual irregularities, osteoporosis, baldness or premature greying of hair, weight gain, hearing loss and incontinence.

"Despite all of the research that's out there, it's concerning to think that women still aren't entirely aware of the many ways in which smoking can impact their overall health and appearance, regardless of age," said Toronto-based dermatologist Dr. Lisa Kellett. "When it comes to saving face and aging gracefully, I'm a big advocate of advising my patients to quit smoking. Not only can smoking age your appearance by ten or more years by reducing blood flow and depriving the skin of the nutrients it needs to repair itself, but it can also result in a number of lesser known health concerns for women as they age."

For health's sake - if at first you don't succeed... best to try and quit again! Of the female smokers surveyed more than three-quarters (78 per cent) admitted to having tried to quit the habit two or more times. When asked to narrow down the deciding factor to quit once and for all, more than two-thirds (69 per cent) cited health concerns as their primary reason for trying to quit, followed by motivation by family (14 per cent), societal pressure (eight per cent), financial reasons (six per cent) and motivation by friends (five per cent).

"The good news is, quitting smoking is the easiest way to turn back the clock on aging - and the sooner a woman quits, the greater the benefit ," said Dr. Kellett. "With all of the options available, I encourage women to talk to their doctor or pharmacist, and also check out websites like activestop.ca or other online resources to find a quit program that's right for them."

For women who are thinking about quitting smoking or are in the process of trying to quit, nicotine replacement therapies like NICODERM(R) or NICORETTE(R) can be a very successful way to help kick the habit. Available in a variety of formats including gums, lozenges, inhalers or discreet patches there's something to suit everyone and in some cases, therapies can be combined for greater results. It has been clinically proven that using the NICORETTE(R) Patch and NICORETTE(R) Gum, 2mg together can increase your chances of quitting.


From October 20 to October 23, 2009, Angus Reid Strategies conducted an online survey among a randomly selected, representative sample of 1,061 adult female Canadian smokers or former smokers aged 18 years and older who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error-which measures sampling variability-is +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current age and region Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire female adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

About McNeil Consumer Healthcare products

NICORETTE(R) and NICODERM(R) are owned and marketed by McNeil Consumer Healthcare, a division of Johnson & Johnson Inc. McNeil Consumer Healthcare markets a broad range of well-known and trusted over-the-counter (OTC) products around the globe. McNeil Consumer Healthcare Canada markets products in the adult and pediatric pain relief, allergy, gastro-intestinal and nicotine-replacement categories.


For further information: For further information: or to arrange further comments from Dr. Lisa Kellett, please contact: Riddhi Gandhi, Melissa Legaspi, Edelman, (416) 979-1120 x 295, 272, Riddhi.gandhi@edelman.com, Melissa.Legaspi@edelman.com; Tina Peyregatt, Johnson & Johnson Inc., (905) 968-2028, tpyerega@its.jnj.com

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