More women and young girls are smoking now, possibly due to the desire to try to control their weight. Few female smokers realize, however, that this addictive habit and the problems affiliated with it can be far worse for females than their male counterparts, according to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD). Early studies on the adverse effects of tobacco smoking focused primarily on males, so the effects of smoking on women's health are just now beginning to be realized.
Some women use smoking as a status symbol. Others use smoking as a form of stress relief, as they think it has a calming influence. Some also say that it gives them "I am important" self-assurance.
Dentists are patients' first line of defense against the adverse effects of tobacco use and nicotine addiction stemming from cigars, cigarettes and smokeless tobacco. Dentists routinely screen for oral cancer and can help patients with tobacco-cessation programs.
Reviewed: January 2012