Generally, men tend to use all tobacco products at higher rates than women. A study of stress responses and craving among male and female smokers who were trying to quit found that during abstinence, lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol predicted relapse in men.
However, high cortisol levels were predictive of relapse in women. Women obtained equal relief from cigarettes with and without nicotine, suggesting that they found the drug less rewarding than men.
Cigarette craving is a major reason why smokers find it hard to quit, and this strong urge to smoke can be evoked by sensory cues and stress. However, women were 31 percent less likely to quit successfully.
This concern should be addressed in behavioral counseling and adjunct treatments for all smokers.
The overall lower cessation rate for Mature female smokers may reflect sex differences in response to particular medications see " What are treatments for tobacco dependence? For example, varenicline has greater short- and immediate-term efficacy at 3 and 6 months among women smokers. However, women and men show similar 1-year quit rates when using varenicline.
Another particular concern related to tobacco use among women is smoking during pregnancy see " What are the risks of smoking during pregnancy?
Tobacco, Nicotine, and E-Cigarettes. National Institute on Drug Abuse website.
This series of reports simplifies the science of research findings for the educated lay public, legislators, educational groups, and practitioners. The series reports on research findings of national interest. Skip to main content.
Are there gender differences in tobacco smoking? Contents Introduction What is the scope of tobacco use and its cost to society? How does tobacco deliver its effects? What are the physical health consequences of tobacco use? What are the effects of secondhand and thirdhand tobacco smoke?
What are the risks of smoking during pregnancy? How many adolescents use tobacco?
What are electronic cigarettes? Other Tobacco Products Are there gender differences in tobacco smoking? Do people with mental illness and substance use disorders use tobacco more often? What are treatments for tobacco dependence? How can we prevent tobacco use?
What research is being done on tobacco use? Ordering Publications or: Opioid Facts for Teens. Drugs, Brains, and Behavior: The Science of Addiction.