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Br J Nurs. 2008 Aug 14-Sep 10;17(15):980-5.

Examining factors that influence the uptake of smoking in women.

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Suffolk Stop Smoking Service,West Suffolk Hospital, Suffolk.


Smoking kills over half a million women around the world each year. This number is increasing rapidly as more women take up smoking while, at the same time, established smokers find it hard to quit. The health problems associated with smoking have, historically, been viewed as a male concern for two reasons. First, cigarette smoking prevalence among women in many countries, particularly developing countries, is still low compared with men. Second, there is a time lag between smoking becoming a widespread habit and the emergence of tobacco-related health problems. So, no country has yet experienced the full impact of smoking on women's health. This article explores these reasons and examines whether the factors that influence the uptake of smoking are the same for men and for women, and thereby identifying if smoking is a gender-sensitive issue requiring gender-specific strategies for tobacco control. This will have a bearing on the development of national strategies for reducing smoking prevalence and, by implication, health planning in the longer term. Given that nurses worldwide see millions of women on a daily basis, and in a variety of settings, they are in a crucial position to be able to promote smoking cessation and have an impact on the evolution of this public health crisis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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