Quitting Smoking and Your Health
Smoking is the leading preventable cause of illness and death. Lung cancer, one of the primary health risks from smoking, is the leading cause of cancer death among women. Studies that have examined gender differences have found that, compared with men, women have more difficulty quitting smoking and avoiding relapse to smoking after a quit attempt. Women tend to smoke to regulate their mood and manage stress, and are more likely than men to fear weight gain if they quit.
How Can You Quit or Help another Woman Quit?
Some Key Steps:
- Talk with your health care provider or call a Quit Line (1-800-QUIT-NOW) to discuss whether a smoking cessation medication might be right for you.
- Consider whether you smoke to help manage negative moods (such as feelings of stress, anxiety, depression) and plan ways to manage your moods without smoking.
- Conquer your fear of weight gain, and accept that gaining a few pounds might be worth the benefits you gain from quitting smoking.
- Talk to the smoker in your life about what benefits she would gain by quitting. Ask her what makes it difficult for her to quit and how you can support her attempts to quit.
Get information on how to quit smoking in Women’s Health Research at Yale’s informational pamphlet: Quitting Smoking: Is it more difficult for women than for men?
- WHRY’s Spring 2012 newsletter - see pages 10 & 11 for information on nicotine replacement therapies and the association between depression and smoking.
- WHRY’s Summer 2010 newsletter - pages 5-7 describe research on the link between the monthly hormonal cycle and smoking cessation.
- For information about an ongoing smoking cessation program here at Yale, go to Stress & Smoking Behavior, also available in the "Volunteering to Participate" section of our Research Findings page.
- For information on smoking cessation from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health: http://www.womenshealth.gov/smoking-how-to-quit/