Dr Mariam Lewis on Why Women Are More Vulnerable to Effects From Tobacco

Mariam Lewis, MD, FCCP, a pulmonologist at UF Health and the UF College of Medicine, discusses why women are more sensitive to the effects of tobacco.

Mariam Lewis, MD, FCCP, a pulmonologist at UF Health, and co-medical director, Sleep Lab, in Jacksonville, Florida; and associate professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, at the UF College of Medicine, discusses why women are more sensitive to the effects of tobacco.

Transcript

Why are women more sensitive to the effects of tobacco smoke?

So that's a really good question. It's probably multiple reasons. Genetics plays a factor—so just if you're more susceptible to it genetically. Hormones—we know that women are much more susceptible because of the effects of estrogen. Probably the X chromosome in and of itself. And then the development of the lung is different between girls and boys. And so all of those combined together make it more likely that women are more susceptible to the effects of tobacco compared to men.