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Health Agencies Update
June 20, 2001

Quitting Smoking Harder for Women

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JAMA. 2001;285(23):2966. doi:10.1001/jama.285.23.2966-JHA10005-4-1

For some time, researchers have known that women are at greater risk of lung cancer and other diseases from smoking than are men. Now it appears that they also have less success quitting the habit.

A National Institute on Drug Abuse–funded review found that nicotine replacement therapy is not as effective for women, that women are more fearful about gaining weight after quitting, that the menstrual cycle affects nicotine withdrawal symptoms, and that medications to aid cessation are not recommended for pregnant women. The authors urge that smoking cessation research focus on developing methods targeted to women (CNS Drugs. 2001;15:391-411).