Tobacco (AH Weinberger, Section Editor)

Current Addiction Reports

, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp 53-60

First online:

Women and Smoking: The Effect of Gender on the Epidemiology, Health Effects, and Cessation of Smoking

  • Alicia M. AllenAffiliated withDepartment of Family Medicine and Community Health, Medical School, University of Minnesota Email author 
  • , Cheryl OnckenAffiliated withDepartment of Medicine and Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Connecticut School of Medicine
  • , Dorothy HatsukamiAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry, Medical School, University of Minnesota


Smoking is still the leading cause of premature morbidity and mortality. This paper examines new research on gender differences and the epidemiology of smoking, smoking-related morbidity and mortality, and factors that affect smoking cessation. The rate of decline in the prevalence of smoking has been slowing, especially among adolescent girls. New research suggests that, compared with men, women may be more susceptible to smoking-related morbidity and mortality. Gender-related barriers to smoking cessation include weight gain, sex hormones, and mood. Furthermore, the sensory aspects of smoking may have more of an effect on smoking treatment for women than for men. We discuss new studies that examine smoking-cessation interventions that may be particularly beneficial for women, including exercise (as an adjunct intervention), very low nicotine content cigarettes, and a variety of pharmacotherapy. Further research is needed to identify and target the gender-specific needs of smokers.


Smoking Nicotine Health Effects Cessation Sex Hormones Women Gender