Dr. Veronica Palmero-Gonzalez, Pulmonologist with South Miami Hospital, explains nicotine is highly addictive. “If patients are already smoking, they have a hard time quitting. There’s also a lot of pressure and advertisement in society that make people start smoking, which is one of the goals that we try, as physicians, to prevent.”
Women’s risk of dying from smoking has more than tripled, and now is equal to men’s risk. She also says there is no difference between smoking in men and women, and points out lung cancer is the number one killer in both men and women.
SO EVEN WITH ALL THE WARNINGS ABOUT THE DANGERS OF SMOKING, DOCTOR, WHY DO PEOPLE STILL SMOKE? > CIGARETTE SMOKING IS HIGHLY ADDICTIVE. IF PATIENTS ARE ALREADY SMOKING, THEY HAVE A HARD TIME QUITTING. THEY FEEL PRESSURE TO SMOKE AND IT’S VERY HARD SOCIALLY WITH SMOKING. THERE’S ALSO A LOT OF PEER PRESSURE AND STILL ADVERTISEMENT IN SOCIETY THAT MAKES PEOPLE START SMOKING, WHICH IS ONE OF THE GOALS THAT WE TRY, AS PHYSICIANS, TO TARGET, TO PREVENT. ONCE YOU ARE SMOKING, IT’S REALLY HARD TO QUIT. > IN THE LAST 50 YEARS, A WOMAN’S RISK OF DYING FROM SMOKING — WOMEN’S RISK — HAS MORE THAN TRIPLED AND IS NOW EQUAL TO MEN’S RISK. THE UNITED STATES HAS MORE THAN 20 MILLION WOMEN AND GIRLS WHO CURRENTLY SMOKE CIGARETTES. IS THERE A DIFFERENCE HERE BETWEEN SMOKING IN MEN AND WOMEN? > NOT REALLY. IT USED TO BE THAT WOMEN SMOKED LESS IN THE PAST. SOMETIME AFTER WORLD WAR II, ADVERTISEMENT BEGAN TO TARGET WOMEN SO WOMEN SMOKED MORE. THAT RATE OF SMOKING MORE REALLY INCREASED SIGNIFICANTLY, AS MENTIONED, IN WOMEN. THAT IS STILL A PROBLEM THAT IS NOT RECOGNIZED. WOMEN STILL BELIEVE WHEN YOU ASK THEM THAT THEY ARE MORE LIKELY TO DIE FROM BREAST CANCER THAN LUNG CANCER. THE TRUTH IS LUNG CANCER IS THE NUMBER ONE KILLER BOTH IN MEN AND WOMEN.
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