A new study challenges the widely held belief that men find it easier than women to quit smoking.
The researchers looked at data from more than 102,000 smokers in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. They found that before age 50, women were more likely than men to quit smoking, especially women in their 20s and 30s, HealthDay reports. Among people over age 60, men were more successful in their smoking cessation attempts.
When the researchers excluded people who continued using smokeless tobacco, and included people who had quit smoking for more than one year, they found that across all age groups, there was relatively little difference in smoking cessation between the sexes.
“Our study has found convincing evidence that men in general are not more likely to quit smoking successfully than women. The myth of female disadvantage at quitting smoking is bad, first and foremost, for women,” who may believe it, lead researcher Martin Jarvis of University College London in England noted in a news release. “It is time to put aside the idea that women are less successful than men at giving up smoking.”
The study appears in the journal Tobacco Control.