In many countries, smoking rates are higher among men than women, highlighting the importance of focusing on factors that influence smoking prevalence among men. Expressed masculinities occur within settings that can influence men's perspectives and behaviours towards smoking.
To provide an overview of key aspects of how masculinities underpin men's behaviours regarding tobacco smoking.
The Health, Illness, Men and Masculinities framework was used to develop a synthesis of masculinities captured in published articles about men's smoking behaviours. Five databases (PubMed, Medline Ovid, Embase, CINAHL and PsychINFO Ovid) and Google Scholar (up to April 2016) were searched using keywords derived from three concepts: men, smoking and health. In total, 351 articles that focused on smoking and used/implied masculinity concepts were identified. These underwent a two-stage screening process applying inclusion/exclusion criteria, first titles/abstracts and then full-text. Data from 45 selected articles were extracted and charted.
Regions with high prevalence of smoking among men, such as South East Asia and the Western Pacific, had a disproportionate number of studies on masculinity and smoking, with less exploration of masculinity as a protective factor, especially for young people, and men-specific settings to support non-smoking behaviour.
Incorporating masculinity in future settings-based approaches to smoking-related health promotion programmes has the potential to reduce smoking prevalence among men.