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Health Effects of Tobacco in Women

Anyone who uses tobacco is at an increased risk for lung cancer and heart disease. For women there are some unique health risks as well:

  • Difficulty getting pregnant
  • Early menopause
  • Osteoporosis (weakening of the bones)
  • Cervical cancer
  • Breast cancer

If you take birth control pills and smoke, you have a higher risk of:

  • Blood clots
  • Stroke
  • Heart problems
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Increases problems during pregnancy

Smoking can cause problems for pregnant women and their babies. Pregnant women who smoke can experience:

  • Birth complications
  • Miscarriages
  • Low birth weight infants
  • Stillbirths

Infants born to women who smoke have a higher risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Quit smoking before you become pregnant

Let your VA health care provider know if you use tobacco and are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant.

It's best to quit before you become pregnant. If you are pregnant and smoke you should:

  • Quit smoking as soon as possible to reduce the chance of harm to you and your baby.
  • Talk to your health care provider before using any medication to quit smoking.

Visit to learn more about smoking and pregnancy and the health effects of tobacco in women.

Learn more about health effects in men and women.