Menstrual cycle key to giving up smoking

Want to quit smoking? Time it with your period

Women who want to give up smoking should time it around their menstrual cycle, claim scientists.

Experts say a woman’s chances of successfully quitting the bad habit are much higher if they give up in the days before their period.

The reason? Our hormones. At certain times during our monthly cycle, it will be easier to cope with the nicotine withdrawal, and at others, much harder.

In a study at the University of Minnesota, 200 women attempted to give up smoking; half in the ‘follicular’ part of their cycle, just after their period ended and before ovulation, and the other half in the ‘luteal’, after ovulation but before the start of the next cycle.

Only two in ten of the women who gave up in the follicular phase had managed to stay smoke-free, however in the second group, four in ten were successful.

‘Our findings support an important role for ovarian hormones in smoking cessation,’ say the researchers.

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