World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that there is an increasing population of women who smoke and drink excessively can create major diseases. Cancers, heart attack, liver failure, are just the tip of the iceberg.  According to studies by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), people who smoke are much more likely to drink, and people who drink are much more likely to smoke.

The effects differ according to gender, age, consumption levels and women are more vulnerable to the effects than men, as their metabolism is slower in comparison. The major complications of alcohol consumption and smoking in women are as follows:

Pregnancy

There is a need to understand that during pregnancy, you are not just feeding yourself but your baby too. So, whatever you eat, reaches the child as well. A baby’s body breaks down alcohol much more slowly than an adult’s. High blood alcohol level in the foetus can cause mental retardation, or heart damage. Smoking, on the other hand, is not a good habit for an adult, let alone a baby. The chances of having a low birth weight baby, stillbirth, and premature birth get higher.

Breast Cancer

It is the most common form of cancer and the leading cause of cancer deaths in women. Alcohol increases a woman’s risk of hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, drinking alcohol directly links to an increase in the risk of breast cancer. Women having 2 to 5 drinks daily have 1.5 times the risk of non-drinkers. Studies do not provide any clear link between smoking and breast cancer. However, evidence has shown that prolonged use of tobacco may increase the risk of the same. The level of risks differs amongst active and passive smoking.

Brain Damage

The effects of drinking and smoking heavily, directly link with damage in the brain. While alcohol kills brain cells, smoking leads to faster thinning of the cortex, ultimately resulting in memory loss. Studies show that blackouts are a serious problem that women face due to excessive consumption of alcohol and tobacco, over a long period of time.

Asthma

According to a research by Health Day News, it was found that combined effects of smoking and drinking include increased asthma risk in women, as compared to men. This risk is higher in women with unhealthy Body Mass Indexes (BMI). Women with low and high body mass indexes, who smoked and drank, were two to three times more likely to experience wheezing. 

From bodily dysfunctions to decreased life expectancy, excessive smoking and drinking cause numerous issues especially in women. Moderate amount of alcohol consumption can be alright, unless the women become easily addicted. In that situation, it is not a good option.

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