Why is it harder for women to quit smoking?

In a podcast from Speaking of Psychology, Dr. Sherry McKee, director of the Yale Behavioral Pharmacology Laboratory, discusses her research on smoking and gender differences, and her findings on why women struggle more than men when it comes to quitting smoking. Specifically, she focuses on the ways stress and depression influence smoking behaviors in men and women.

Here’s an excerpt from her interview:

Stress is a primary reason why people continue to smoke and also, it’s a primary reason why people relapse back to smoking. Most smokers want to quit smoking. If you ask a smoker, you know, if they want to quit, they’ll say yes. And then you ask them about their current plans to quit and they’ll say well now’s not a good time. I have a big deadline at work. My kids are really stressing me out. They’ll identify some barriers that prevent them from engaging in a quit attempt and very often they’re stress related. … We know that individuals with depression have more difficulty quitting. Yet, very little is known about how best to help them stop smoking. 

You can read the full transcript here.