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It May Be Tougher for Women to Quit Smoking

https://pixabay.com/photos/woman-smoking-cigarette-tobacco-918616/  Credit: Free-PhotosSmoking is a severe addiction to beat, and a new study suggests that women may have a more difficult time doing so than men. The primary reason? Women generally have a higher prevalence of anxiety and depression – factors that may make it more difficult to move on from the addiction. Researchers also point out that women’s brains may react differently to nicotine, which can add to the difficulties they have with quitting.

In this study, the average age of participants was 56 and nearly one-third were women. Patients in the group said they smoked an average of 18 cigarettes daily for 37 years. After six months, 58 (25%) study participants reportedly stopped smoking and 68 (29%) cut back on the number of cigarettes smoked by more than half. Women were about 50% less likely to quit smoking than men.

The total number of clinic visits, adding prescription medications like Chantix to treat smoking addiction, the individuals in the study, and patient’s ability to afford treatment all factored into the chance of success in quitting smoking. Chantix, a prescription drug that helps individuals wean themselves from cigarettes, doubled the odds of success, according to the study’s senior author, Dr. Beth Abramson, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Toronto.

Quitting smoking is the most significant modifiable factor to prevent heart disease in women, Abramson said, as well is the leading preventable cause of COPD.

Smoking is the primary cause of preventable death worldwide, accounting for 480,000 deaths annually in the United States alone. About 12% of American women aged 18 and older smoke tobacco, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Women also are more likely to use cigarettes to deal with stress in their lives, Abramson said, who noted that women smoke and stop smoking for different reasons than men.

The study's findings were presented recently at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress in Montreal.

Click here to read the full article on WebMD.