Smoking cessation: sex-specific interventions needed


  • Mary Corcoran
  • Univadis Medical News
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New research suggests that women find it significantly more difficult to stop smoking than men, with the study’s authors highlighting the need for sex-specific interventions for smoking cessation. 

The retrospective analysis included 233 patients who attended a smoking cessation clinic at least twice between 2008 and 2018. The participants received individualised medical counselling and, if necessary, prescription of medications, according to the patient's preferences and contraindications.

After a mean follow-up of six months, 25 per cent of participants had stopped smoking and 29 per cent had reduced the daily number of cigarettes smoked by more than 50 per cent. 

In logistic regression analysis, the total number of visits (odds ratio [OR] 6.35), varenicline use (OR 2.40), female sex (OR 0.49) and medication affordability (OR 0.33) were independently associated with quitting or reducing smoking by more than 50 per cent.

The research was presented at the 2019 Canadian Cardiovascular Congress. Its Scientific Programme Committee Chair, Dr Anique Ducharme commented: "This study provides important insights to help the clinician discuss smoking cessation with their patients. A gender-specific approach is eagerly needed in order to achieve good results for women as well, potentially addressing anxiety or depression, hormonal and social factors which all seem also to play a role.”