Women Have a Tougher Time Quitting Smoking But Greater Reasons to Keep Trying

Harder for Women to Quit

As any smoker who has tried to kick the habit can testify, there's nothing easy about arresting this addiction that has a starring role in the high rate of deaths from lung cancer and heart disease.

What's more, a review of numerous research studies focusing on smoking cessation has concluded that while women may suffer greater relative risks of smoking-related diseases than do men, they tend to have more difficulty than men in quitting smoking. These research-based findings include the following trends:

  • Nicotine replacement therapy may not be as effective for women.
  • Women smokers are more fearful than men of gaining a lot of weight if they quit.
  • Medications to aid smoking cessation are not currently recommended for pregnant women.
  • A woman's menstrual cycle affects tobacco withdrawal symptoms, and responses to anti-smoking drugs may vary by cycle phase.
  • Husbands may provide less effective support to women who are trying to quit smoking than wives give to husbands.
  • Women may be more susceptible than men to environmental cues to smoking, such as smoking with specific friends or smoking associated with specific moods.
  • Many women may enjoy the feeling of control associated with smoking a cigarette.

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