The world has this consistent tendency to overlook women in many aspects unfortunately this includes health situations. it is not as well-known of a fact that Women are at higher risk for things such as cardiovascular disease and stroke. Not enough studies are done regarding this and when they are done, they do not focus on women as much. Women are not being fully educated on these preventable dangers. The message is not being relayed enough to make it the majority aware of these issues. In the year 1917 the American Tobacco Company released an ad campaign that was specifically aimed at women. As decades went by women were used and targeted in all types of ads for different tobacco companies such as Marlboro and Lucky Strike. Although not as many women smokes as men Women are at a much higher risk of death caused by smoking related lung cancer or Cardiovascular disease. Fortunately, in result of smoking cessation the danger of smoking related diseases can be reduced significantly. The National Institutes of health reports that there have been differences in gender when evaluating smoking cessation. The studies done showed that women were less likely to find success in Tobacco dependence treatment clinical trials (Smith P. 2015). In educating the population the message should also include that it is never too late to quit. No matter if an individual has been smoking for six months or six years quitting can be beneficial, and differences can be seen over time. “Smokers who stop before their mid-30s have approximately the same life expectancy as never smokers” (West R. 2017).
Obviously, the sooner the better but tobacco users should not feel as though there is no hope. There are places to turn and many options and it is much easier said than done to just quit. So, what treatments are more commonly successful for women in smoking cessation and what types of health benefits can they have?
Every individual is different meaning what might be successful for some might not be successful for others. But there are many pathways that a smoker attempting to quit would be able to try. Some medications such as Zyban and Chantix can do some good as well as over the counter products such as the nicotine patch and nicotine gum. There are also options for those who would rather not try out medications. For many others group therapy and behavior therapy has been a success. Just being able to talk to other in a similar situation can be a crucial part of the process. Following processes like these or ones that are similar can lead to enormous benefits some are even quickly (West R. 2017).
Minian’s study (2016) came to this conclusion relating to Treatments: “All female clients had sought treatment in an outpatient smoking cessation clinic in Toronto, Ontario that provides individualized treatment to both women and men. A variety of services are provided by an inter-professional team, including support groups, educational workshops, brief individual counselling, pharmacotherapy, Nicotine Replacement Therapy [NRT], bupropion, and varenicline), and self-help materials. Clients seeking treatment in this clinic on average tend to be more heavily nicotine dependent, older, less educated, have a lower income, and report a greater number of previous unsuccessful quit attempts than the general population of smokers in Ontario . Close to half of those who seek treatment in the clinic are women.”
The study not only strongly expressed the aspect of smoking cessation in Women, but it touched on how it was more difficult for people who were older and didn’t have privileges of education to see success in working to quit.
Minian’s study concluded with this statement regarding the subject: “An ideal program for women appears to be one that includes sufficient variety and choice to permit each woman to self-identify the particular combination of services that supports her own unique needs, flexible free pharmacotherapy, non-judgmental support, accessible services and clear communication of program options and changes.”
Minian and her colleagues found that although the treatment styles were not always successful, they were more likely to be successful when the treatment was able to be flexible and fit the needs of the individual. The study focused on smoking cessation in women and was done with a total of four focus groups with tobacco users.
Even for a long-term smoker deciding not to smoke for a day or too will receive results. The process will result in not only physical benefits but mental ones as well. Some physical examples will include not being out of breath as easy and cough much less. Quitting smoking can also reduce further damage to the lungs and lower blood pressure and heart rate. Smoking cessation can result in stronger immune system, muscles, and bones. In that it is possible to prevent Osteoporosis which is more common in Women especially those who smoke. Visual changes in result of smoking cessation include cleaner mouth and skin, reduction of belly fat and risk of diabetes, and improvements in sense of taste and smell. Cessation of smoking can increase the probability of a healthy pregnancy.
Smoking cessation not only benefits the body but can benefit the mind and one’s mental health. An increased energy and a feeling of control is a part of the success that would following with smoking cessation. Smoking cessation can also benefit an individual’s bank account. The cost of a pack can varies from five dollars to fifteen dollars. Organizations against underage smoking and tobacco products in general have gotten a smoking tax added in order to prevent young teens from attempting to purchase it. Those who smoke a pack a day could be spending three grand a year just on their smoking habit. Some Companies have added pay incentives that give employees who don’t smoke more money. This incentive is in hopes that employees will quit for a higher pay. Employees smoke breaks can add up to four hours a week just of smoking at work. Companies do this mostly for the sake of productivity but there can also be a hope that this can increase a desire for more people to quit smoking altogether or even lessen their tobacco usage.
This study done by the ACP (1993) found that: “Compared with continuing smokers, former smokers had a 24% reduction in risk for cardiovascular disease mortality within 2 years of quitting. The excess risks for total mortality and both cardiovascular disease and total cancer mortality among former smokers approached the level of that for never smokers after 10 to 14 years of abstinence. The health benefits of cessation were clearly present regardless of the age at starting and daily number of cigarettes smoked.”
The study found fast results in reductions and therefore an increase in the quality of life in those who quit smoking. Although it does not mention this information Women are at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease. The purpose of this study was to compare smoking Cessation in relation to total mortality rates in women. It was identified as a prospective Cohort study with registered nurses that had follow up going on for about 12 years. The conclusion that was come to be that following cessation decreased the total mortality rates at a drastic level (Kawachi. 1993).
In evaluation of all the research that has been done there is no question that women have a much harder time being successful in smoking cessation than men. But there is still hope if more research is done and better treatment plans are put into place. Health experts would be able to set up a proper treatment plan based on each individual and what works for them.
It is important that the world puts the same effort in research for women’s health as they do men’s health. It is crucial that women are made aware the dangers of smoking and the benefits that come with quitting. Health education is not where it needs to be and not just on the topic of the dangers of smoking. That is something that needs to be changed it should be a priority to make sure that people are educated as much as possible on their health. Especially in regards of preventable illnesses or death. Although women are at a disadvantage when it comes to smoking cessation there is a hope for success in changing that. If more time given by medical professionals can be put into making sure individuals are able to follow treatments fitting their needs, then there would be a higher success rate for smoking cessation in women. Being aware of the treatments that are more commonly successful for women in smoking cessation and what types of health benefits can they have would be a step in the right direction and from there getting to know the individual, their lifestyle, and any histories of health issues. Now society has reached a point in time where vaping has gained more popularity than smoking cigarettes, but it is a similar problem only adapted for 2019. The problem is only growing so what can be done. More research must be done, and all factors and all groups must be considered when doing so. As this issue changes and expands it is important it be taken seriously. The world needs to get ahead of this problem before it has higher rates of mortality caused by tobacco use. The entire population of women deserve the same attention to their health-related issues as men. the future of our world depends on making that shift. Equal rights can be talked about for a long time but action speaks louder than words.
- Kawachi, I., Colditz, G. A., Stampfer, M. J., Willett, W. C., Manson, J. A. E., Rosner, B., … Speizer, F. E. (1993, November 15). Smoking Cessation in Relation to Total Mortality Rates in Women: A Prospective Cohort Study.
- Minian, N., Penner, J., Voci, S., & Selby, P. (2016, March 12). Woman focused smoking cessation programming: a qualitative study.
- Smith, P. H., Kasza, K. A., Hyland, A., Fong, G. T., Borland, R., Brady, K., … McKee, S. A. (2015, April). Gender differences in medication use and cigarette smoking cessation: results from the International Tobacco Control Four Country Survey.
- Ussher, M., Aveyard, P., Manyonda, I., Lewis, S., West, R., Lewis, B., … Coleman, T. (2012, October 4). Physical activity as an aid to smoking cessation during pregnancy (LEAP) trial: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial.