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Weight conscious women smokers less likely to try quitting smoking

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Washington: A new research has examined that women smokers, who are concerned about their weight, are less likely to try to quit smoking.

The research conducted at University of Illinois at Chicago suggested that smokers who are concerned about their weight are less swayed by anti-smoking policies such as bumps in cigarette prices, smoke-free laws or anti-tobacco messaging than other smokers are.

Lead author Ce Shang said that they found that concerns about weight were a significant barrier to quitting among U.K. smokers and U.S. female smokers who believe smoking helps them manage weight.


The researchers looked at survey data from about 10,000 smokers in the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and Australia as part of the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project. The ITC Project conducts longitudinal surveys of smokers and tobacco users across 22 countries.

Respondents completed three surveys between 2002 and 2007 that asked questions on whether they agreed with the statement that smoking helps control weight; on their attempts to quit smoking and on their exposure to tobacco policies such as price, anti-smoking messaging, and smoking bans at work or in public.

For female smokers who did not believe that smoking helps control weight, a 10 percent increase in cigarettes price was associated with a 6 percent rise in attempts to quit, while women who thought smoking does help control weight did not significantly increase their attempts to quit in response to a price increase. Additionally, while a 10 percent increase in exposure to anti-smoking messaging was associated with a 12 percent increase in quit attempts among those who did not hold the weight-control belief, no increase in quit attempts was reported by smokers who did so believe.

The researchers found similar patterns among smokers in the U.K., but no differences in attempts to quit that correlated to the belief about weight-control in smokers of either gender in Australia or Canada.

The study is published online in the journal Tobacco Control.