Women Smokers Less Likely to Quit Smoking

Women smoke fewer cigarettes than men but are less likely to quit, claimed a recent study research presented at ESC Congress 2021.

Study author Ingrid Allagbe, a PhD student at the University of Burgundy. Dijon, France said that women smoke fewer cigarettes among the smokers analysed but are less likely to quit. The researcher said that women who used smoking cessation services had higher rates of overweight or obesity, depression, and anxiety compared to men and kicked the habit less often.


“Our findings highlight the need to provide smoking cessation interventions tailored to the needs of women,” she said. The study compared characteristics and abstinence rates of both the genders and visited smoking cessation services between 2001 and 2018 in France. The Study enrolled smokers aged 18 and older with at least one additional risk factor for cardiovascular disease such as overweight/obese, high cholesterol, diabetes high blood pressure, history of stroke, heart attack or angina. The researchers also used a nicotine dependence scale to classify participants as having mild, moderate, or severe dependence.

Smoking abstinence (at least 28 consecutive days) was self-reported and confirmed by measurement of exhaled carbon monoxide less than 10 parts per million (ppm). A total of 37,949 smokers were analysed in the study. This comprised 16 492 (43.5 per cent) women. The average age of women was 48 years and the average age of men was 51 years. More women (55 per cent) reported a bachelor’s degree level of education or higher compared to men (45 per cent). In the study, both men and women had a high burden of cardiovascular risk factors. High cholesterol was more common in men (33 per cent) compared to women (30%), as was hich bland pressure (26 per cent versus 23 per cent). Diabetes was also more comm in men (135) compared to women (10% p<0.001).

The average number of cigarettes smoked daily was 23 in women and 27 in men. About 56 per cent women had a severe nicotine dependence compared to 60 per cent men. Abstinence was less common in women (52 per cent) than men (55 per cent).

Allogbe noted that the findings suggest that despite smoking fewer cigarettes and being less nicotine dependent than men women find it more difficult to quit. “Possible contributors could be the higher prevalence of anxiety, depression and overweight or obesity among women. It has previously been reported that women may face different barriers to smoking cessation related to fear of weight gain, sex hormones, and mood,” she said. The researchers pointed out the need for a comprehensive smoking cessation programmes for women that offer a multidisciplinary approach involving a psychologist, dietitian, and physical activity specialist.



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