Subscribe to minority women's health email updates.
Check out our quitting smoking section.
African-American women have lower smoking rates than white women. However, their lung cancer rates are no lower than white women's. African-American women are also more likely to die from lung cancer than white women. Smoking is the biggest risk factor for lung cancer. And research suggests that African-Americans who smoke are more likely to develop lung cancer than other smokers.
Smoking increases your risk of major health problems, including:
Smoking causes many other problems related to reproductive health:
- Women who smoke have a higher risk of cervical cancer.
- Women who take birth control pills and also smoke have a higher risk of stroke.
- Smoking can make illnesses last longer and make it harder to get pregnant.
- Smoking during pregnancy can cause the baby to be born too early and other problems. Smoking is also a risk factor for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
On top of all the health problems caused by smoking, it also stains your teeth, fingers, and fingernails, gives you bad breath, and causes wrinkles.
Read more from womenshealth.gov
Smoking and How to Quit — These pages from womenshealth.gov empower women to quit smoking and all forms of tobacco use. Learn why quitting matters to your health, your quality of life, and the health of others. The site also offers strategies that can help you quit for good.
Explore other publications and websites
Guide to Quitting Smoking (Copyright © American Cancer Society) — This publication provides detailed information on why you should quit smoking, how you can quit, how you can deal with withdrawal symptoms, and more.
Pathways to Freedom: Winning the Fight Against Tobacco — This guide was developed to address the high rate of smoking among the African-American population. It offers proven strategies for anyone who wants to quit and includes information on how friends and family can help. The guide also gives tips to community leaders for promoting the benefits of quitting.
Women and Smoking (Copyright © American Cancer Society) — Smoking hurts you and your children. This article tells you how and gives links to resources that can help you quit.
Connect with other organizations
American Cancer Society
American Heart Association
American Lung Association
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Information Center, NHLBI, NIH, HHS
Content last updated May 18, 2010.
Resources last updated May 18, 2010.
A federal government website managed by the Office on Women's Health in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
200 Independence Avenue, S.W. • Washington, DC 20201