Research Article

Smoking habits of men and women.

Br Med J 1980; 281 doi: (Published 05 July 1980) Cite this as: Br Med J 1980;281:17
  1. M A Russell,
  2. C Wilson,
  3. C Taylor,
  4. C D Baker


    The smoking habits of 1501 cigarette smokers attending 28 general practitioners in five group practices in London were assessed. Prevalence of smoking, daily cigarette consumption, and the use of cigars, untipped cigarettes, and hand-rolled cigarettes were lower in the women. After controlling for consumption the proportions of men and women who smoked every day were similar. Women who smoked 20 or more a day were similar to men in their self-reported inhaling habits and use of low-nicotine cigarettes. The results suggest that women differ from men in those aspects of smoking that are determined predominantly by social factors but that their smoking habits become similar when pharmacological motivation takes over. This apparently occurs when consumption reaches about 20 cigarettes a day, when smoking almost inevitably becomes a regular event and the sex differences disappear.