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Survey shows no gender advantage in quitting smoking

There is “no convincing evidence” that men are better than women at quitting smoking, research claims.

Higher quit rates among men using smoking cessation aids have fuelled the belief of a gender divide in kicking the habit.

A study published in Tobacco Control analysed the results of surveys from the US, Canada and UK carried out in 2006-7.

Between them, the three surveys covered more than 102,000 smokers and found “similar and consistent” results.

Women under 50 were found to be more likely than men of the same age to be successful in giving up smoking.

The gap widened when both sexes are in their 20s and 30s, with more women quitting the nicotine habit at this time.

However, the trend reversed among the over 60s with men more likely to quit.

“Our study has found convincing evidence that men in general are not more likely to quit smoking successfully than women,” said the researchers.

“The myth of female disadvantage at quitting smoking is bad, first and foremost, for women who may be tempted to believe it, write the authors.

Such a myth is also bad for men, who may think they have an unfair advantage, and bad for healthcare professionals and policy makers aiming to help people quit.