Save Your Cervix….Stop Smoking NOW!

For more information on smoking addiction and how to quit, visit: http://www.drugabuse.gov/PDF/TobaccoRRS_v16.pdf

With the transmission of HPV and subsequent development of cervical neoplasias on the rise, it is critical to assess possible risk factors to promote early detection and treatment of problems. Due to the variety of medical complications that have been associated with tobacco smoking, it is no wonder the study conducted by Sierra-Torres, Tyring, and Au (2003) sought to investigate the link between smoking and cervical abnormalities. Past studies have similarly examined this relationship, and chemical components of cigarettes, such as nicotine, cotinine, and N-nitrosamines were identified in the cervical mucosa of smokers (McCann, Irwin, & Walton, 1992). In the case controlled study by Sierra-Torres et al. (2003), women were interviewed who were seeking dysplasia evaluation for abnormal pap results via colposcopy to collect demographic data, such as age, sexual history, history of smoking, and family histories. Out of 272 women, 114 had a biopsy that showed cervical intraepithelial neoplasia or invasive cervical carcinoma, and were thus assigned to the case group, and the remainder assigned to the healthy control group. When assessing the HPV status of all the subjects, investigators found 92% of women in the case group were infected with HPV, and 13% of women in the control group. This finding strongly emphasizes the link between HPV infection and cervical dysplasia.

When investigators examined the correlation of cigarette smoking between the two groups, they found that having past history of smoking increased the risk of cervical cancer two fold. Further data revealed that women with a history of at least 15 years of smoking were nearly 4 times more likely to develop cervical cancer than the non-smoking counterparts (Sierra-Torres et al., 2003). The basis for the rationale for smoking’s contribution to cervical cancer relies on the presence of cigarette chemical components in the cervix. The belief is that these carcinogenic chemicals produce a decreased immune surveillance and subsequent predisposition for infections and abnormal cell proliferation (Prokopczyk, Cox, & Hoffmann, 1997).  This information is critical to health promotion and prevention tactics by informing women of the necessity for smoking cessation, especially in the presence of other risk factors, to reduce the risk for cervical cancer.

Similarly, smoking also markedly increases the risk for breast cancer.

Looking at the effects of smoking on the vascular components of the body, it’s not surprising to know that smoking can give you softies.

To sum it all up…by smoking cigarettes, we risk losing vaginas, losing boobies, and losing erections. If there is no other better reason to quit smoking…. For more information on smoking addiction and how to quit, visit: http://www.drugabuse.gov/PDF/TobaccoRRS_v16.pdf

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