Gender differences in utilization of services and tobacco cessation outcomes at a state quitline

Transl Behav Med. 2019 Jul 16;9(4):663-668. doi: 10.1093/tbm/iby083.


Research suggests that women may have poorer tobacco cessation outcomes than men; however, the literature is somewhat mixed. Less is known about gender differences in cessation within quitline settings. This study examined gender differences in the utilization of services (i.e., coaching sessions, pharmacotherapy) and tobacco cessation among callers to the Arizona Smokers' Helpline (ASHLine). The study sample included callers enrolled in ASHLine between January 2011 and June 2016. We tracked number of completed coaching sessions. At the 7-month follow-up, callers retrospectively reported use of cessation pharmacotherapy (gum, patch, or lozenge), as well as current tobacco use. Associations between gender and tobacco cessation were tested using logistic regression models. At month 7, 36.4% of women (3,277/9,004) and 40.3% of men (2,960/7,341) self-reported 30-day point prevalence abstinence. Compared to men, fewer women reported using pharmacotherapy (women: 71.4% vs. men: 73.6%, p = .01) and completed at least five coaching sessions (women: 35.1% vs. men: 38.5%, p < .01). After adjusting for baseline characteristics, women had significantly lower odds of reporting tobacco cessation than men (OR = 0.91, 95% CI: 0.84 to 0.99). However, after further adjustment for use of pharmacotherapy and coaching, there was no longer a significant relationship between gender and tobacco cessation (OR: 0.96, 95% CI: 0.87 to 1.06). Fewer women than men reported tobacco cessation. Women also had lower utilization of quitline cessation services. Although the magnitude of these differences were small, future research on improving the utilization of quitline services among women may be worth pursuing given the large-scale effects of tobacco.

Keywords: Cessation; Gender differences; Smoking; Tobacco.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arizona / epidemiology
  • Drug Therapy / statistics & numerical data
  • Drug Therapy / trends
  • Female
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mentoring / statistics & numerical data
  • Mentoring / trends
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sex Factors
  • Smoking Cessation / ethnology
  • Smoking Cessation / methods
  • Smoking Cessation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Tobacco Use Cessation / ethnology
  • Tobacco Use Cessation / methods
  • Tobacco Use Cessation / statistics & numerical data*