Men 'better at stubbing out habit of smoking'

Men are better at quitting smoking than women, despite women being keener to kick the habit, a study has found.

The research found that socio-economic status played a part in how successful people were at giving up cigarettes, as well as gender and age. Older smokers were better able to quit, while those in more disadvantaged groups found it tougher.

Researchers from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) and the UK Centre for Tobacco Control Studies (UKCTCS) looked at studies from between 1990 and 2007 to determine success rates for NHS services helping smokers to quit.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

They found while women may be highly motivated to quit, they are actually less likely to succeed than men.

This could be down to lower confidence in quitting and differences between the sexes in the role tobacco plays in their lives. Pregnancy can also see women starting the habit again once the child is born.

Amongst those working in shift and manual work smoking was more prevalent and in more deprived areas smoking was perceived as the norm - making quitting more difficult.

Fewer smokers looked to the NHS for help in quitting in disadvantaged areas (52.6 per cent) than elsewhere (57.9 per cent), although the proportion of those treated for smoking related illnesses was higher (16.7 per cent to 13.4 per cent).

Those from poorer areas were slightly more successful in giving up (8.8 per cent to 7.8 per cent).

Researchers called for more tailored intervention to take into account the circumstances of those attempting to quit.

A NICE spokesman said: "The UK remains the only country to have comprehensive, free-at-the-point-of-use cessation services and the study suggests these services do provide effective support."