Smoking Linked to Skin Cancer in Women

smoking women skin cancerRates of skin cancer in Israel are some of the highest in the world, though the rest of the MENA region has significantly lower incidence, according to the World Health Organization.

Conventional thinking suggests that the best way to avoid skin cancer is to use sunscreen, particularly one made from organic materials. New research, however, continues to find other risk factors. Long known as a causative factor in lung cancer, new research suggests that smoking increases your chances of developing skin cancer, especially if you are a woman. For the now, the data is correlational.

According to reports, the study, which is published in Cancer Causes, compared 383 patients with skin cancer to 315 people without the disease (355 men, 343 women). It found a significant increased risk for skin cancer among women, with the data less robust for men.


“The study found that women who had squamous cell skin cancer were more likely to have smoked than those who were free from the disease. And those who smoked at least 20 years were twice as likely to develop squamous cell skin cancer, a less aggressive form of skin cancer than melanoma.

Men who smoked had a modest risk for the two types of non-melanoma skin cancer — basal cell and squamous cell cancer — but the results weren’t statistically significant.”

Skin cancer in the Middle East is relatively low among many populations, with certain groups in Israel at a significantly higher risk. These include native-born Jewish men and women; Arab-Israelis have a much lower risk level.

Some suggested reasons for why this population stands out include increased sun exposure from more relaxed styles of dress, and use of tanning beds particularly among urban, secular Israelites.

While doctors generally recommend sunscreen, not all environmentalists agree that this is the safest option for preventing or decreasing skin cancer risk. A 2010 report in found an alarming link between sunscreen use and accelerated skin cancer risks.

Bottom line: If your skin matters to you, reconsider those bad habits like smoking and educate yourself on potentially harmful compounds in beauty aids, including sunscreen. We’ve got a recipe for those who want to Make Their Own Organic Sunscreen as well.

Read More Skin Health News:
How Mom’s Risk Daughter’s Health
Breezy or Stifling? What Your Clothing is Doing to You
Put Some SPF on Your Plate

Tinamarie is a regular contributor to You can follow her on @ModernLoveMuse and facebook. She blogs at

About Tinamarie Bernard

Tinamarie combines her interests in two of her favorite topics – relationships and the environment – for As our eco-sexpert, she explores ways to make our personal lives more sustainable, whether it’s between a couple, the sheets or our ears. While eco-sexuality is a new term and still unfamiliar to many, being conscious about what we use in moments of intimacy is connected to better stewardship of the planet. The idea that green is sexy and sex can be green is one she is thoroughly enjoying discovering. This married mom of two also believes we owe it to our children to teach them to love themselves, each other, and the environment for futures to come. Intimacy isn’t something we are born knowing. Neither is good stewardship of the earth. In her spare time, she muses about sacred sexuality, conscious love, intimacy, feminism and parenting as the top-rated Modern Love column for and several other media outlets. She composes poetry (mostly in her heart), mediates (when time allows), rides horses in the Galilee, and searches for delicious parve dessert recipes. She considers chocolate a righteous sin, and won’t give up a single pair of red shoes. You can find her on Facebook, follow her on twitter @ModernLoveMuse, or send her an email at tinamarie (at)

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