WASHINGTON — There is little difference between success in quitting smoking between men and women, according a recent study published in the journal Tobacco Control, the Society for Women's Health Research announced Thursday. The theory had been that women were less successful than men, the researchers noted.
They did, however, find a pattern of sex differences in smoking cessation which was consistent. According to the study, “below age 50, women were more likely to have given up smoking completely compared to men, while among older age groups, men were more likely to have quit than women.” Different age groups had sex differences in smoking cessation but the authors are not sure what accounted for the finding.
Despite the findings of this new study, authors cautioned, the difficulty of smoking cessation based on sex should not be discounted. According to several studies, women experience more severe withdrawal symptoms than men when quitting smoking, which can make the act of quitting much harder and more uncomfortable for women. In addition, women are less likely than men to benefit from nicotine replacement therapy, according to the researchers, which also contributes to the difficulty some women experience when trying to quit.
It also is important to note that women who quit smoking relapse for different reasons than men. Weight control, stress and negative emotions are all reasons cited by women who have relapsed.