Cigarette Smoke and Hormones
A five-year study involving more than 93,000 women has caused concern for yet another hazard contributed to cigarette smoke, both first and second-hand. The study found that women who had regular exposure to cigarette smoke had a more difficult time conceiving a child. In addition, these women often went through menopause at an earlier age than women who had no exposure to either first-hand or second-hand smoke. A remarkable 45 percent of the women who had been regularly exposed to cigarette smoke had undergone menopause before they reached fifty.
This study, along with several others, indicate that cigarettes contain substances known to be endocrine disrupters. The endocrine system is the regulator of hormones related to preparing a woman’s body to carry a child. It has shown to cause difficulty in the body producing eggs that are ready for fertilization and it reduces the amount of estrogen circulating throughout a woman’s body. All of these factors increase the difficulty of conceiving and decrease the age when menopause occurs.
Men Aren’t Exempt
The same chemicals that create difficulty for women have been determined to create trouble with the Y chromosome in men. This chromosome is responsible for testosterone levels. The reduction of these hormones makes it more difficult for men to produce sperm that is fertile. When all is said and done, cigarette smoke has now gained another negative connection.