The stigma of smoking among women: A systematic review - Bordeaux Population Health Access content directly
Journal Articles (Review Article) Social Science & Medicine Year : 2024

The stigma of smoking among women: A systematic review


Background: Smoking stigma has been well documented, but little is known regarding its specific features and effects on women. Notably, women face unique social, cultural, and economic challenges that may interact with smoking stigma and impact health outcomes. This review investigates the extent to which smoking women encounter and internalise stigma, while examining the various coping mechanisms they employ to manage these negative experiences. Methods: In November 2022, major databases were systematically searched with no time restrictions. After applying inclusion and exclusion criteria, 23 studies (three quantitative and 20 qualitative) met our criteria. We conducted a quality assessment and summarised the findings pertaining to public stigma, self-stigma, and coping strategies. Results: The stigma about smoking emerges from a variety of sources, such as family, healthcare providers, or internet forums. Women smokers are universally aware of the negative image they have in society. Yet, their experiences and management of the stigma of smoking are shaped by other variables such as cultural background, social class, or motherhood status. Smoking stigma produces ambivalent effects, such as concealment, reduced usage of support services, and to a lesser extent, smoking cessation motivation. Conclusions: These results indicate that smoking stigma is an important social justice and public health issue and that further research is needed to better prevent its effects on women's well-being and health behaviours.
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Dates and versions

hal-04344355 , version 1 (18-06-2024)



Jean-Charles David, David Fonte, Anne-Laure Sutter-Dallay, Marc Auriacombe, Fuschia Serre, et al.. The stigma of smoking among women: A systematic review. Social Science & Medicine, 2024, 340, pp.116491. ⟨10.1016/j.socscimed.2023.116491⟩. ⟨hal-04344355⟩
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