SMOKING AND THE PILL 1. Should you take the pill if you are a smoker? The risk of having a blood clot is increased if you smoke and take the pill.

SMOKING AND THE PILL

1.   Should you take the pill if you are a smoker?  The risk of
having a blood clot is increased if you smoke and take the pill. 
However, the risk of a blood clot is still lower than if you were
to get pregnant up to the age of 35.  Over the age of 35, you are
at a higher risk if you smoke and take the pill than if you got
pregnant.

If you are under 30 years of age and smoking - It's very safe to
use the pill if there are no other contraindications.  Cut down
or stop smoking.

If you are between ages 30 to 39 and smoking - Consider another
contraceptive method, especially if you are in your late 30s or
have diabetes, obesity, hypertension or high cholesterol.  Cut
down or stop smoking.  Ask for assistance in quitting smoking. 
Nicotine patches can help you quit.

If you are 40 years or older - Stop taking the pill.  Cut down or
stop smoking.


2.   What are the most common causes of death linked to pill use
and smoking?

The common causes of death from either smoking or taking the pill
are stroke and heart attack from a blood clot.  The risk of heart
attack or stroke if you both smoke and take the pill is far
greater than just adding the risk of each together - they are
synergistic.


3.   What is your chance of having a stroke?

You are nearly six times more likely to have a stroke if you
smoke than if you do not.

You are twenty-two times more likely to have a stroke if you both
smoke and take the pill than if you do neither.


4.   What are your chances of having a heart attack?

You are twenty times more likely to have a heart attack if you
smoke than if you do not.

You are four times more likely to have a heart attack if you take
the pill than if you do not, but

You are forty times more likely to have a heart attack if you
both smoke and take the pill than if you do neither.


5.   What is your chance of dying?

You are two times more likely to die from smoking-related causes,
such as the above, if you smoke than if you do not.

You are five times more likely to die from pill-related causes,
such as the above, if you take the pill than if you do not, but

You are fourteen times more likely to die from pill and
smoking-related causes if you both smoke and take the pill than
if you do neither.


6.   How does your age affect your chances of dying?

If you are a pill user under thirty, your risk of dying is only
slightly increased if you smoke than if you do not; however...

If you are a pill user over thirty who smokes, your risk of dying
is three to four times greater if you smoke than if you do not,
but...

If you are a pill user over forty who smokes, your risk of dying
is two to ten times that of a younger woman who does the same.


7.   Can you kick the habit?

Of course you can if you want to.  Ask for help.

Seventy percent of smokers say they would attempt to stop smoking
if urged to do so by their physicians.

Ninety-five percent of ex-smokers have quit on their own; only
two percent have used formal programs.  Ask your doctor or nurse
for help with quitting smoking.



                         DANGER SIGNS

Women at any age may develop early signs of heart attack or
stroke, which signal the need to stop using the pill. These
danger signals are:

                         HEADACHES

                         CHEST PAINS

                         BLURRED VISION OR LOSS OF VISION

                         LEG PAIN

Cigarette smoking has been linked to delayed conception and to
increased risk of low birth-weight babies.

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