There’s a long-standing debate about cigarettes and whether it’s more difficult for women to quit smoking compared to men. The truth is that there are some gender differences, and there are plenty of strategies that work especially well for women who are determined to become tobacco-free.
First, you may have seen studies trying to figure out if nicotine replacement devices really work for women. Most experts, including The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, now believe that the patch and similar methods are generally not effective for pregnant women. That’s partly because they metabolize nicotine differently.
On the other hand, women who are not expecting may benefit from nicotine replacement, especially if they view it as one part of a more comprehensive approach. Female smokers tend to be attached to the whole ritual of smoking. They often need to find substitutes for the emotional and social aspects of smoking as well as the physiological dimensions. It may be helpful to take a walk with your husband after dinner so you don’t miss lingering over a cup of coffee and a cigarette while you talk.
Not surprisingly, women are also very responsive to social support when it comes to breaking many undesirable habits such as smoking. Talk with the human resources department where you work or call your health insurance provider directly. They may be able to recommend a support group to help you through the process. There are also plenty of resources online or you can organize your own network. Post Facebook status updates exchanging praise and encouragement with a friend who is trying to quit too.
Looking back, it’s kind of creepy to think about those old cigarette commercials that told women they’d come a long way to get a cigarette of their own. Instead, focus on the proven strategies that help women succeed in becoming tobacco-free.