Women Smoking Cessation and Disadvantage
: A Mixed Methods Investigation of the Factors Influencing Smoking Cessation in Women

  • Fay Beck

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


Background: Women are less likely than men to successfully quit smoking when using NHS cessation services (The Information Centre, 2012, ICD, 2011).
Methods: The research used mixed methods and consisted of two studies. Study one was a secondary data analysis of service use data from cessation services in Glasgow, North Cumbria and Nottingham. The study examined whether women had lower cessation outcomes compared to men. Further analyses explored whether women using cessation support differed from men in terms of demographics, smoking behaviour, interpersonal characteristics or patterns of service use. The predictors of cessation success for women were identified. Study two consisted of 25 semi-structured interviews and 1 focus group (n=5) which explored women’s experiences of smoking, smoking cessation and NHS cessation support. Thematic analysis was used to analyse this data.
Results: Lower quit rates were observed for women in the English samples (4 weeks, 52.1% vs. 57.8%, 52 weeks, 12.7% vs. 17.2%) compared to men. Women experienced more markers of disadvantage compared to men. Disadvantage appeared to mediate smoking cessation outcomes in women by increasing nicotine addiction. Markers of nicotine dependence predicted smoking cessation outcomes in women. However, the qualitative investigation indicated that the emotional side of addiction also appeared to have an important role in the smoking behaviour for women. Variation existed in the preferred intensity of cessation support. However, knowledge of available cessation support options was low; suggesting that cessation services should ensure smokers make an informed choice about the format of cessation support they use.
Conclusions: The key finding of this thesis was that it highlighted that smoking and smoking cessation may be affected by the emotional role that smoking can have within women’s lives. Ways that NHS support could be altered to meet women’s needs are discussed within this thesis.
Date of Award18 Sept 2013
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorFiona Gillison (Supervisor), Linda Bauld (Supervisor) & Amanda Amos (Supervisor)


  • smoking cessation
  • gender
  • NHS services

Cite this