Wednesday, 21 July 2010

World No Tobacco Day - II: Women are at great risk

By Syed Akbar
According to the World Health Organisation, the following issues put women at great risk:
1. Tobacco companies are spending heavily on alluring marketing campaigns that target women.
2. Women are gaining spending power and independence. Therefore, they are more able to afford tobacco and feel freer to use it.
3. Tobacco companies are investing heavily in the low-income and middle-income countries, where most potential new female users live.
4. Many countries do not do enough to protect their people from second-hand smoke.
5. Many women do not know about the harm done by second-hand smoke, or feel as if they have no right to complain.
6. Advertisements lure women with such misleading identifiers as "light" or "low-tar". More women than men smoke "light" cigarettes, often in the mistaken belief that "light" means "safer".
7. Among the industry's many targets of opportunity, women constitute one of the biggest. That's because fewer women than men smoke or chew tobacco.  Of the world's over one billion smokers, only about 200 million are women. With women, the industry simply has more room to expand.

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