Staying on the topic of stopping smoking I want to continue the subject by going back to the article I mentioned in my post ‘Dr Mark Porter Blowing A Smokescreen Over How To Stop Smoking.’ In it he makes the point that women may be more susceptible to the damaging effects of cigarette smoke than men, something I’m not totally disagreeing with, it’s the possible reasons for it that rankle with me. He states,” Quite why women should be more likely to smoke than their male peers, or be more susceptible to smoking related illnesses such as premature heart disease (a 25% higher risk according to the latest study), is unclear. Likely factors range from its use as an appetite suppressant to the marketing tactics used by tobacco companies, which seem to be aiming more at the female smoker with slick packaging and menthol or ‘light’ brands.” I was fascinated by this and decided to investigate further …..
The article is correct in so much as that women are more susceptible to harm from cigarette smoke than men. This is backed up by research appearing on most of the respected medical websites around the globe all of whom quote another article this time in ‘The Lancet’ dated 11th August 2011 (the same article Dr Porter used in his article I suspect) entitled ‘Cigarette smoking as a risk factor for coronary heart disease in women compared with men: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies’ by Dr Rachel R Huxley DPHil and Mark Woodward PhD in which their interpretation of the research states ..
“Whether mechanisms underlying the sex difference in risk of coronary heart disease are biological or related to differences in smoking behaviour between men and women is unclear. Tobacco-control programmes should consider women, particularly in those countries where smoking among young women is increasing in prevalence.”
As Dr Porter said in his article, the reasons why women appear more susceptible are unclear, which makes his likely factors just as unclear making his smokescreen even smokier. However I totally agree with him that tobacco advertising needs to be monitored more closely and that tobacco companies should take full responsibility for their actions but I am convinced that if someone wants to smoke they will get their hands on a packet of cigarettes regardless of its shape, size or colour. In fact having talked to friends who smoke they always buy a favourite brand which they stick to and the next governing factor is price. Not a sexy looking packet.
Anyway whatever the reasons for starting smoking these will be stored away in the mind of the smoker – male or female. It is vital then if we ever want to get people to stop smoking to first approach the mental side of the process and move the smoker to the position where they really WANT to stop smoking. I repeat the point I made in my previous post, “why won’t more GP’s link up with Clinical Hypnotherapists to offer a more holistic approach to treatment especially in areas such as smoking and weight loss.” These treatments get to the core of the issues whatever they may be, so come on Dr Porter, women may possibly be more susceptible, but more gullible, I think not – ask my wife!
You can read the full Lancet article mentioned above at http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(11)60781-2/fulltext