Gender Differences in Smoking Behavior and Dependence Motives Among Daily and Nondaily Smokers

Nicotine Tob Res. 2016 Jun;18(6):1408-13. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntv138. Epub 2015 Jun 30.


Introduction: While the overall prevalence of smoking has declined, nondaily smoking is on the rise. Among daily smokers (DS) men tend to smoke more cigarettes per day and have higher dependence. Unfortunately little is known about gender differences in nondaily smokers (NDS).

Methods: This secondary-data analysis utilized data from a cross-sectional online survey. Participants reported on smoking behavior (eg, cigarettes per day, history of quit attempts) and nicotine dependence motives as assessed by the Brief Wisconsin Inventory of Dependence Motives via the primary and secondary subscales (ie, core features of tobacco dependence such as craving and accessory motives such as weight control, respectively).

Results: Participants were 1175 DS (60% women) and 1201 NDS (56% women). Two interactions between group and gender were noted suggesting that the NDS had greater gender differences in past quit attempts (P < .01) and reported change in smoking behavior over the past year (P < .01). Further, among the NDS group, men scored significantly higher than women on both the primary and secondary dependence motives subscales (3.6±0.1 vs. 2.9±0.1, P < .0001; 3.8±0.1 vs. 3.3±0.1, P < .0001; respectively). There were no significant differences in dependence motives in the DS group (P > .05).

Conclusions: Gender differences in smoking behavior and dependence motives varied between NDS and DS. Specifically, gender differences in smoking behavior and smoking dependence motives may be larger among NDS compared to DS. Additional research is needed to explore how these relationships may relate to smoking cessation in NDS.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Sex Factors
  • Smokers / statistics & numerical data*
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / epidemiology*