The impact of pulmonary disease on the entire population is far-reaching. Diseases in which morbidity and mortality should be declining are showing opposite trends. This is especially true among women, particularly as it pertains to tobacco-related respiratory illnesses. The scope of disease does not end there. Women are affected by a large array of respiratory disorders, and only recently has there been significant study into the appropriate diagnostic techniques and treatment options specifically geared to women. This article reviews pulmonary disorders that affect both genders but have specific importance in women's health. A large portion of the article is dedicated to smoking, smoking-related problems, and smoking cessation. This article has particular importance not only because of the number of women who smoke, but also because the diseases caused by tobacco smoking are preventable. Therefore, it seems only logical that great emphasis should be placed on patient and physician education regarding smoking and smoking cessation. This article also addresses specific disorders that occur more frequently in women.