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Why Cigarettes are a Woman's Worst Enemy

Here are some compelling reasons to quit smoking.

Cigarettes Go to Your Heart

A woman who smokes is two to six times more likely to have a heart attack than one who doesn't, according to the National Institutes of Health. One to four cigarettes a day is enough to double your risk of heart disease, says the ACOG. And a Finnish study published in the July 1998 British Medical Journal found that female smokers are twice as likely to have a heart attack after age 65 as male smokers. Researchers believe estrogen -- which smoking apparently inhibits -- helps protect women against heart disease.

And remember that your behavior sets an example for your daughter or any girl in your life. "The rate of high school girls who are smoking is now on par with that of boys," says Wanda Jones, a spokeswoman for the National Women's Health Information Center. "This is not the kind of equality for women our mothers and grandmothers envisioned."

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