Yet Another Reason To Quit

   By drodriguez  Sep 14, 2008

Researchers from the University of Oslo in Norway recently published a study in the BMC Public Health online journal reporting that women who smoke cigarettes are more likely to experience early menopause (which also gives them an increased risk of osteoporosis and heart disease).

The researchers studied over two thousand women between the ages of 59 and 60 and found that the women who smoke were 59 percent more likely than the non-smokers to undergo early menopause. This number nearly doubled for the heaviest smokers in the test group.

The new study reports that women who quit smoking at least ten years before menopause were 87 percent less likely than the current smokers to have experienced early menopause. The earlier women were able to quit the less chance they had of hitting menopause before age 45.

The team of researchers also found that those exposed to second-hand smoke on a regular basis may be at heightened risk of going through an earlier menopause. Widows and women who described themselves in poor health were more likely to experience premature menopause. Whereas, socially active and well-educated women usually did not hit menopause until later.

So what does experiencing early menopause mean to a woman who smokes? According to an article published in Main Line Health, women who smoke are at a greater risk of experiencing more intense symptoms of menopause than those who do not smoke.

The article also discusses fragile bone risk (osteoporosis) from early menopause. Dr Lisa Freedman writes, "If you are a woman who smokes than you are 35 percent more likely to break your hip after menopause than if you did not smoke."

What do you think of this new study linking early menopause to cigarette smoking?

Do you have a personal story about how you or a loved one was able to quit smoking?

If you are a smoker and would like help quitting you can call 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

Make a Comment

krystalcastor by krystalcastor | Surprise, AZ
Jan 27, 2010

it took me 6 yrs and not til i got pregnant to quit. i am now 6 months pregnant and still off cigarettes but i'm not sure if im going to start once the baby is born. i dont really crave them now but i wonder if i will once i know there's no baby inside my belly!! it truly is very difficult. good luck to everyone!

bevcat5 by bevcat5 | Englewood, CO
Nov 13, 2008

I stopped smoking 3 years ago - after trying for 30 years! I tell you, it's an ADDICTION, equal to HEROIN ADDICTION. So, we all need to stop beating ourselves and each other up about not being able to quit! It took me every trick I could think of - all at once - to be able to stop! I used the Patch and Nicotine Anonymous, prayer, and tried to eat and exercise right. I also bought the movie, "The Insider", so I use my Anger appropriately - at the drug pushers who lied about cigarettes being addictive and conspired to keep everyone addicted! As to menopause, I wish it would have made me do that earlier! Menopause is a blessing! I suffer with less breathing ability which is part of what motivated me to finally quit. You just can't exercise well to control weight if you can't breathe! Good luck to all who want to stop smoking! I think it's worth the effort.

harriette by harriette | Menominee, MI
Mar 10, 2008

I smoked for 53 years and quit one year ago. It isn't easy. I still want one after dinner! But, if that is what put me through menopause at age 49, thank you, I have felt wonderful ever since. I can't understand who wouldn't want to go through menopause early!

Pokupatel by Pokupatel | Reno, NV
Jan 18, 2008

I recently quit smoking (about 3 months ago). It's been remarkably easy (sorry, but it has). I smoked for about 10 years (I'm only 27 years old now) and I recently had my tonsils taken out. Since I couldn't smoke after the surgery, I decided to not smoke anymore. I had been wanting to quit for a long time and I figured "now or never". Now, I can't recommend a tonsillectomy for everyone, but it worked for me. And I'm glad it did. My grandmother smoked for a long time and had 2 heart attacks (the 2nd killed here) and my mom smokes and is having a really hard time with menopause. The best advice I can give is that you have to be READY to quit. You have to WANT to quit. I had tried before but it was too hard (that routine you get in gets you every time!) It took a surgery to get me to say "enough". Just keep trying to quit. You might be a very irritable person for awhile, but you'll be glad you did it. Nobody ever says,"Geez, I wish I had never quit smoking." Think about it.

roxme1957 by roxme1957 | Roscommon, MI
Nov 16, 2007

I went into menopause around age 46 which is early and I do smoke. If insurance pays for that Chantix maybe I will try that.

MBenita by MBenita | PHILADELPHIA, PA
Oct 30, 2007

I'm a former smoker (6 years Nov 5th!!!) but understand the discipline needed to quit. Smokiing is both emotional and physical, and it is an addiction.

Prayers for those who have or are going through life altering health issues. I'm hoping that as the years go by, I continue to dodge the disease that my Dad died from 22 years ago.

sugarshot398 by sugarshot398 | markesan, WI
Oct 25, 2007

I am a smoker. I started when i was in high school and like other moms, i quit when i was pregnant and nursing but it was so relaxing to start back up afterwards. I have tried numerous times to quit and its just been too hard. My husband also smokes and isnt very incouraging. All i hear is "I thought you were quitting". Now, in the state of wisconsin we are getting a new budget and the tax of cigarettes are going up another dollar January 1, 2008. That is going to be my inspiration, besides my 3 year old son. I just will not be able to afford it. I want to feel better and live better. I want to be around when my son gets married and has kids. I want to be able to see him grow up.

dmcgowan by dmcgowan | Lake Ariel, PA
Oct 06, 2007

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in early 2006. I underwent one chemo treatment for three months, second chemo treatment for four months, and a third chemo for one year. I had a ten week schedule of radiation, 5 days a week. In the middle of my treatments I was rushed to the hospital three times for breathing problems (asthmatic bronchitis) all due to my cigarette habit of 30 years (I was 46 years old). I am now cancer free, smoke free, and I no longer get my period due to chemotherapy. Fighting cancer was extremely hard but giving up the cigarettes was harder. I still think of that cigarette every day, but I've beat cancer for now, how stupid would I be to tempt another cancer with cigarettes.


amerksfan1 by amerksfan1 | Rochester, NY
Sep 20, 2007

When I am ready to quit I will. If I did everything the FDA told me to do,(eat this, dont eat that), I would of been dead 20 years ago. Paleeeeeeeze give it a rest! I know a lot of people, mostly women who died of lung cancer and were never exposed to 2nd hand smoke nor smoked themselves. Sorry to sound so harsh but I am much happier when I can relax with a cigerette.

babyblue by babyblue | Reading, PA
Sep 17, 2007

I quit smoking 3 months ago using Chantix. I had tried many times in the past to quit. It always ended the same way. I would quit, gain weight, and then start smoking again. My husband and I both quit smoking using Chantix and neither of us has gained an ounce. It really quite amazing. I have recommended this pill to others who have also quit. So if you want to quit, definitely give Chantix a try. I feel as if I never was a smoker before, and I had smoked for over 11 years. Like I said above, it's an amazing thing.

wannabejunecleaver by wannabejunecleaver | Ottawa, OH
Sep 15, 2007

I was never a heavy smoker and I quit a couple of times for 2 to 7 years at a time. The last timr I quit, ten years ago, was the first time that I couldn't stand the smell of smoke fresh or old. I am 51 and sooooo ready for menopause. I wouldn't take up smoking again to achieve it though.

lorib20 by lorib20 | Houston, TX
Sep 14, 2007

I come from a long history of smokers. After 15 years and 2 unsuccessful attemps, I am smoke free for 13 years. My mother isn't so lucky. Her 50 yr. habit has resulted in C.O.P.D, many upper resiratory complications, and finally a massive stroke. She has to live with the consequences of her self destruction and we are completely powerless when we visit what's left of her at the nursing home. She thought it would never happen to her, either.

sharksteeth by sharksteeth | russell springs, KY
Sep 08, 2007

charhess your story is very moving and I hope for future improved health for you. Unfortunately I am a Smoker. My husband about 2 weeks ago started taking Chanktix and he seems to be doing well. I orignially wanted to quit smoking first and then he found he has a slew of health problems and needed to quit if he could. I am proud of him. Now he is going to finish them out and see about me getting on it. I am more of a heavier smoker than he was so I am hoping that it will work. They are expensive but I am thinking of Health now not money.

freebiequeenbee by freebiequeenbee | Palm Bay, FL
Aug 29, 2007

I had a heart attack on Mother's Day, I am 51 years old. The damage is so severe to my heart, I am left with only 25% of my heart capacity. For those who think that smoking does not cause Heart disease I am proof it does. I am scheduled for an ICD implant, a device that shocks my heart if I go into defib again. Not a prospect to look forward to, as I have a chance to die on the table. But without it I will surely die. My diagnosis is 'Sudden Death' meaning my heart can stop anytime with no warning.

Also ladies, heart attacks need NOT give you chest pains. My symptoms were pain in the ear canal that gravitated to under my jaw. Then I began to choke to death and turn blue.

Those cigarettes aren't worth losing your life over. I have a grand baby, my first due any day now, and I fear I will not be around to see her grown up.

Heartbreaking but my fault entirely.

I have not smoked since, but couldn't even if I wanted to. I can't inhale anything without turning blue and choking.

I also started menopause early at the age of 40. I stoppped having periods entirely by 41, never had another one.

migirlfriday by migirlfriday | Mayville, MI
Aug 29, 2007

I will have to agree with the findings. I am in perimenopause right now and I am 38. My family does seem to have a history of starting early and I am sure that smoking does intensify the symptoms just from other women I have talked to about it.