Gender and ethnic differences in readiness to change smoking behavior

Womens Health. Summer 1997;3(2):139-50.


The Transtheoretical Model has been used extensively to investigate smoking behavior. However, gender and ethnic differences in key constructs of the Transtheoretical Model have not been fully evaluated. This gap in the literature is addressed in this brief report. We examined gender and ethnic differences in stages of change (readiness to quit smoking), perceived pros (benefits) and cons (costs) of smoking, and self-efficacy (confidence) in ability to quit among smokers seeking cessation treatment. Participants were 330 smokers ages 18 to 75, who responded to advertisements for a free minimal-contact smoking cessation program. Thirty percent of women were confident they could quit smoking compared to 53% of men. Women reported more pros of smoking and more cons of smoking than men. White smokers reported more pros of smoking than African smokers. These findings highlight the need to bolster quitting confidence among women and to identify alternatives to the pros of smoking relevant to women smokers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • African Americans / psychology
  • African Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / psychology
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Psychological
  • Sex Factors
  • Smoking / ethnology*
  • Smoking / psychology
  • Smoking Cessation / ethnology*
  • Smoking Cessation / psychology
  • Smoking Cessation / statistics & numerical data
  • Smoking Prevention
  • United States