Secondhand smoke a greater threat to women
When a person smokes or is exposed to secondhand smoke, there are a number of negative health effects. Among teenage girls, these negative health effects seem to hit the hardest. These girls tend to have lower levels of "good" HDL cholesterol, which cleans up excess cholesterol in the blood stream and carries it to the liver where it is broken down. HDL cholesterol reduces heart disease risk. However, among 17-year-old girls exposed to smoking, these HDL cholesterol levels were reduced, a phenomenon which was not witnessed in teenage boys.
According to a University of Western of Australia study of 1,057 teens, secondhand smoke was found to have a significant impact on the health of young women. The study gathered information about household smoking beginning during gestation leading up to when a child turned 17 years old. During that time, 48 percent of participants were exposed to secondhand smoke. When given blood tests, women were exposed to more significant cardiovascular risk factors than males.
Though this study is but one of many condemning smoking, its results should be taken seriously, as the lives of non-smokers who live in smoking households are being damaged.