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The study, by scientists from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence and the UK Centre for Tobacco Control studies, found that while women tend to be highly motivated when it comes to quitting, they are less likely to succeed than men.
Analysing studies from between 1990 and 2007, researchers found that female smokers who give up while pregnant often fall back into old habits following the birth of a child and they believe it is womens' lack of confidence in giving up that is to blame.
However, the research pointed to a range of factors that affect smokers' success rates in quitting.
Those in disadvantaged areas were less likely to turn to the NHS for help - 52.6 per cent opted for NHS advice compared to 57.9 per cent in wealthier areas.
However, though the number of people treated for smoking-related illness was higher, those in poorer areas had slightly more success when quitting.
Scientists say the research shows that a range of tailored "cessation interventions" targeting specific groups may improve success rates.
A spokesman from the research team explained: "To achieve government targets will require both the development of more innovative cessation interventions for some specific groups of smokers and recognition that tobacco control policy will need to take account of the unique challenges these groups face when trying to quit smoking."
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