Study: Nearly One in Four Women Smoke

By: Bill Martens
By: Bill Martens

Thirty-eight states were given failing grades for not meeting national goals to reduce and prevent smoking.

That includes Wisconsin.

We've all heard reasons why we shouldn't smoke, yet people continue to light up, particularly women.

Currently, just about 23-percent of Wisconsin women smoke, and an astounding 37-percent of high schoolers in Wisconsin do it.

"We've made a little bit of progress deterring high school kids from beginning to smoke, but it still is a problem because in coming down two or three percent isn't enough," says Judy Omernik of the Marathon County Health Department. "We need to bring that rate down to zero."

Nationwide, 12-percent of women smoke while pregnant.

Across the state, that rises to 17 percent, and in Marathon County, 19 percent, according to a report compiled by the American Cancer Society and the Wisconsin Division of Public Health, among others.

So what makes women smoke in the first place?

Peer pressure and advertising are two big reasons.

"Those kinds of strategies sometimes entice women to, we're all looking for those perfect things and sometimes those strategies makes us think that we're going to get something that we're not getting at all from their product," says Omernik.

And the bottom line about smoking...

"Smoking has absolutely no benefit whatsoever," Omernik adds.

Lung cancer is the number one killer of all cancers among women.

Wisconsin does have a toll-free quitline you can call with questions, 1-877-270-STOP.

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