Committee Opinion: Tobacco Use and Women's Health
The Commitee on Health Care for Underserved Women developed the the Committee Opinion on Tobacco Use and Women's Health. Tobacco use negatively affects every organ system and is the most prevalent cause of premature death for adults within the United States. Compared with women who are nonsmokers, women who smoke cigarettes have greater risks of reproductive health problems, many forms of gynecologic cancer and other types of cancer, coronary and vascular disease, chronic obstructive lung disease, and osteoporosis. Brief behavioral counseling and the use of evidence-based smoking cessation aids are effective strategies for achieving smoking cessation even for very heavy smokers. The trained obstetrician–gynecologist is well positioned to screen and counsel all patients on tobacco use and to advocate for smoke-free environments. Smoking cessation counseling is often reimbursed by health insurers. Tobacco use has deleterious effects on women through all stages of life. Tools are available for obstetrician–gynecologists to screen for and treat tobacco abuse and give the appropriate coding for smoking cessation counseling.