Smoking: Smoking cessation before age 40 saves 10 years. “The number of female deaths from lung cancer has increased by almost 6% per year since the beginning of the 2000s. This cancer is becoming more deadly than breast cancer and yet there is little mobilization for its prevention. As if we thought that finally, these women have looked for it since they smoked! “Says Professor Xavier Quantin, pneumo-oncologist at Montpellier University Hospital.
Inciting these smokers to smoking cessation would be a very effective prevention method, according to the medical journal The Lancet. A British study, conducted on more than 1.2 million women, has shown that by quitting smoking before quarantine, these ex-smokers recover 10 years of life expectancy. But be careful, this does not mean that cigarettes smoked before 40 are safe, the mortality rate of these women remains 20% higher than that of women who have never smoked. “The message of this study is that the sooner it is the best for stopping smoking but it is never too late,” says tobacco expert Marion Adler.
The main beneficiaries of smoking cessation are the heart and lungs, responsible for the majority of smoking-related deaths. If the damage to the lungs is rarely reversible, the heart and blood vessels can recover quickly.
In everyday life, the benefits of stopping smoking are even faster, especially in terms of respiratory quality. “In 24 hours, you recover oxygenation comparable to a non-smoker and in a week, you get rid of the smoker’s characteristic cough,” says Dr. Marion Adler.
Although the risks associated with smoking and the benefits brought by its cessation are now well known, smoking cessation nevertheless faces women with specific obstacles. Starting with a reluctance greater than men to be helped by nicotine substitutes or drug treatment to dispense with cigarettes.
Weight gain is not inevitable. Another common smoking cessation barrier among smokers is the fear of weight gain, which averages 3 to 4 kg. “But it’s an average, so it’s not inevitable,” says Marion Adler who sets 3 golden rules to stop smoking without pushing the needle upwards: eat balanced, do more sports than usually by focusing on physical activities that are fun and not be lacking to avoid cravings. Nicotine substitutes can therefore be particularly useful crutches at the beginning of weaning, when the symptoms of lack of nicotine are the most marked.
Preventing the risk of depression is essential. Women, whether smokers or not, are more affected than men by depressive and anxiety disorders. This feminine vulnerability to depression may be a factor in the failure of smoking cessation because the nicotine in cigarettes acts in the brain area associated with pleasure, as if it were an anti-depressant. To be helped by a doctor for his smoking cessation can identify this risk of depression or anxiety and be accompanied by psychological care, or even a transient prescription antidepressant.
Transform the pregnancy test. Pregnancy is often presented as the ideal opportunity for smoking cessation. The vast majority of female smokers say they will stop smoking when they become pregnant. They also benefit from a package of treatment by the social security of smoking cessation treatments (patches and gums can be used during pregnancy). This package is 150 euros against 50 euros for other smokers.
But only 70% of pregnant women manage to do without cigarettes and among those who arrive, one in two will resume smoking after giving birth or breastfeeding. “Of course, in absolute terms, pregnancy is a good time to stop. I encourage the spouse to stop at the same time. But we must be convinced that we stop for ourselves and not only to protect our baby, “says Marion Adler. “The challenge is to be able to extend the weaning help once the baby is there. It is often a period of postpartum blues, with a high vulnerability to relapse, “confirms Xavier Quantin.
Adapt to economic precariousness “When you buy cigarettes, they are small amounts each time. While when you buy patches, you have to pay 50 euros at once. For many patients, and more often patients, it is difficult or impossible, “says Xavier Quantin. Even if patients with smoking cessation benefit from a reimbursement package of 50 euros, the advance of costs can be problematic. And even more so when the weaning lasts because the reimbursement is possible only once a year and covers an average of one month of treatment.