Quit Smoking - Why Is It Harder For Women Than Men?

By Lindsay M Fox

A commonly stated fact is that women find it harder to quit cigarettes

than men. Further, women smokers are unable to take advantage of

certain smoking cessation therapies that are used by men to great

effect. As a woman who is addicted to cigarettes, this is certainly

bad news for you.

Not only are you at greater risk than non-

smokers to get certain cancers as well as heart or

pulmonary diseases, but you are also more likely to

suffer from osteoporosis as you age. If you are planning

to have a child then you might experience a difficult

pregnancy and your child might also have low birth


An understanding of why women smokers have such a

hard time quitting this habit will help you address your

problem in the correct manner. This will ensure that you

have a fighting chance of quitting this habit.

According to many scientific studies done on this subject,

the main reason is that non-smoker women have the

same number of nicotine receptors in their brain as

women who smoke. It is believed that this has something

to do with the progesterone levels in their body.

Fewer nicotine receptors means that they might still have

the urge to smoke even if the body is exposed to

nicotine. The implication of this fact is that women tend to

be unable to take advantage of nicotine replacement

therapies (NRTs).

Male smokers, on the other hand,

have a lot more nicotine receptors in their brain than non-

smoking men. Therefore, they can make good use of

NRTs, and quit smoking easier than women.

Studies have also found that women tend to be more

dependent on the physical actions associated with

smoking. These include holding a cigarette in the hand or

the lips and drawing on it.

Needless to say, this does not mean that women

smokers should be resigned to their habit since they

cannot get rid of it. They can use NRTs that mimic the

act of smoking; while nicotine patches won't work for

them, electronic smoking devices might.

Further, they can also practice yoga, meditation and any other

exercise that involves deep and rhythmic breathing. This will

definitely go a long way to help them quit smoking.

Now that you know what you are up against you can plan

better to quit smoking. If you get the right kind of support

then you'll find it relatively easy to quit this habit.