Quitting smoking can be a difficult feat for anyone to overcome. In more recent years, researchers have begun to explore the psychology of smoking focusing, in particular, on the differences in men and women. Dr. Sherry McKee, a researcher exploring gender differences in smoking, has found women typically experience greater difficulty in quitting smoking due to a number of factors.
Dr. McKee has found in her research that women often use smoking as a means of dealing with stress and negative emotions. Smoking is also found to be more prevalent in those with mental health disorders, such as depression. Women are twice as likely as men to develop depression and are more susceptible to the negative side effects of mood disorders. In addition, many with depression and other mood disorders are more likely to abuse substances in an attempt to self-medicate. Because of biological differences, women are also more vulnerable to the negative side effects of substance abuse. All of these factors combined lead to smoking being the number one preventable cause of death in the United States.