New approaches are being studied into helping women quit smoking in their own communities and deliver cessation programmes in the future.

Trinity College Dublin is carrying out the research along with the Irish Cancer Society and the Health Service Executive.

It is being done by comparing two different programmes.

One is a community stop smoking programme, which is specifically designed for women, and the other is a HSE stop smoking locally-based service.

Catherine Hayes, an Associate Professor in Public Health at TCD, said there are significantly higher lung cancer rates among women, with these cases concentrated in disadvantaged areas.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Ms Hayes said more women in Ireland are dying of lung cancer than breast cancer.

She said smoking is seen as a way to ease stress among women and early motherhood, especially among young mothers, is associated with heavy smoking.

TCD is currently looking for women aged 18 and upwards to participate in the study, which is being rolled out in parts of Dublin and Cork.

Ms Hayes explained that the World Health Organization has called for a gendered approach to be applied to smoking cessation policies.

There is, she said, still a lot of glamour associated with smoking and there is also the association between smoking and weight control.

Meanwhile, the Irish Cancer Society (ICS) is urging the Government to provide free nicotine replacement therapy to people on smoking cessation programmes.

Donal Buggy, Head of Services and Advocacy with the ICS, says people who get access to nicotine replacement therapy are over 50% more likely to be successful in quitting smoking.

He says people who sign up to an approved smoking cessation service should get access to the therapy to give them the best possible chance of breaking the smoking habit.

He said: "If you do decide to quit smoking it is really, really difficult, or it can be really difficult, and we must do as much as we can to support people who make that decision...

"We're calling for the Government to ensure that anyone who makes that decision to quit and signs up to an approved smoking cessation service gets access to nicotine replacement therapy in order that we can give them the best possible chance of breaking the habit."

The ICS is supporting research being carried out by Trinity College Dublin on new approaches to help women quit smoking in their own communities.