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Smoking cessation long-term harder for women, disadvantaged

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
Smoking cessation

Researchers in the UK investigate smoking cessation rates, finding for some quitting is easier.

The investigation found some groups of individuals have higher rates of success, based on age, gender and socioeconomic status.

The study, conducted by the the UK Centre for Tobacco Control Studies (UKCTCS), found men who obtain services that support smoking cessation seemed to have more success, even though both groups are equally motivated.

For women, quitting smoking may be harder because of lack of confidence, suggest the researchers, who say the reasons are multi-factorial and possibly related to differences in the role of tobacco in men and women’s lives.

The report, taken from reviewed published studies between 1990 and 2007, also found that older adults had more success for quitting smoking compared to younger groups.

Giving up tobacco was found to be harder for disadvantaged groups who the researchers say may face barriers such as shift work that makes it harder for long-term smoking cessation. Among those who are disadvantaged, smoking may be considered the norm and is more prevalent, making it more difficult to quit.

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The same was true for pregnant women who seem to have more difficulty. Rather than permanent tobacco cessation, the study showed women are more inclined to cease smoking during their pregnancy, rather than stopping permanently.

Smoking cessation services boost overall success

Despite the fact that smoking cessation success seems to be easier for some groups, the analysis found support services contribute to overall success.

With the help of free services, success rates for quitting tobacco were higher for disadvantaged groups accessing smoking cessation programs.

The researchers not tailored therapy for quitting smoking may be needed for pregnant women who may require more intense, frequent counselling sessions.

The study identifies the need for specific interventions to help women, pregnant women and disadvantaged groups with smoking cessation who face more challenges than men and older groups when it comes to long-term tobacco success with quitting smoking.

Free services available through the NHS have boosted smoking cessation rates, but according to the report, more needs to be done to help some groups give up smoking long-term.