UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Gender, smoking and tobacco reduction and cessation: a scoping review Bottorff, Joan L.; Haines-Saah, Rebecca; Kelly, Mary T.; Oliffe, John Lindsay; Torchalla, Iris; Poole, Nancy; Greaves, Lorraine; Robinson, Carole A.; Ensom, Mary H.; Okoli, Chizimuzo T.; Phillips, J. C.


Considerations of how gender-related factors influence smoking first appeared over 20 years ago in the work of critical and feminist scholars. This scholarship highlighted the need to consider the social and cultural context of women’s tobacco use and the relationships between smoking and gender inequity. Parallel research on men’s smoking and masculinities has only recently emerged with some attention being given to gender influences on men’s tobacco use. Since that time, a multidisciplinary literature addressing women and men’s tobacco use has spanned the social, psychological and medical sciences. To incorporate these gender-related factors into tobacco reduction and cessation interventions, our research team identified the need to clarify the current theoretical and methodological interpretations of gender within the context of tobacco research. To address this need a scoping review of the published literature was conducted focussing on tobacco reduction and cessation from the perspective of three aspects of gender: gender roles, gender identities, and gender relations. Findings of the review indicate that there is a need for greater clarity on how researchers define and conceptualize gender and its significance for tobacco control. Patterns and anomalies in the literature are described to guide the future development of interventions that are gender-sensitive and gender-specific. Three principles for including gender-related factors in tobacco reduction and cessation interventions were identified: a) the need to build upon solid conceptualizations of gender, b) the importance of including components that comprehensively address gender-related influences, and c) the importance of promoting gender equity and healthy gender norms, roles and relations.

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