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World No Tobacco Day

Jun 1, 2010, 10:55 AM

"Gender and tobacco with an emphasis on marketing to women," is the theme for this year's World No Tobacco Day.

This year's theme specifically focuses on the harmful effects of tobacco-marketing towards women and girls. It also highlights the need for governments to ban all forms of tobacco advertisements, promotion and sponsorship; and to eliminate tobacco smoking in all public and work places, as provided in the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. At the same time, it seeks to make men more aware of their responsibility to avoid smoking around the women with whom they live and work.

We urge all to take a global action to protect women and girls against the harmful effects of the use of tobacco, as ccontrolling the scourge of tobacco among women is an important part of any comprehensive tobacco control approach.

World No Tobacco Day 2010 aims to draw particular attention on the need to protect women and girls from the harmful effects of tobacco marketing and smoking in accordance with WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

It’s worth mentioning that tobacco companies are spending heavily on alluring marketing campaigns that target women, since more women are gaining spending power and independence.

The fact that many countries do not do enough to protect their people from second-hand smoke, many women do not know about the harm caused by it, or feel as if they have no right to complain.

While the epidemic of tobacco use among men is in slow decline in some countries, its use among women in some countries is increasing at an alarming rate.

The future character of the global tobacco epidemic among women can be seen in the habits of girls today.

According to WHO, in half of the 151 countries surveyed for trends in smoking among young people, roughly as many girls smoke cigarettes as boys. In some countries, more girls smoke than boys.

Of the over five million people who die each year from tobacco use, approximately 1.5 million are women.

The leading preventable cause of death, tobacco use kills more than five million people every year, about 1.5 million of whom are women.

Since tobacco advertising increasingly targets girls this campaign calls attention to the tobacco industry’s attempts to market its deadly products by associating tobacco use with beauty.

The issue of people vulnerable to the harms of second-hand smoke is another cause for concern, which undoubtedly needs urgent attention.

By enforcing the WHO Framework Convention, governments can reduce the toll of fatal and crippling heart attacks, strokes, cancers, and respiratory diseases that have become increasingly prevalent among women.

We call on our governments and the general public to demand a ban on all forms of tobacco advertisements, promotion and sponsorship; to support implementation and strong enforcement of legislation to provide 100% protection from tobacco smoke in all public and work places; and to take global action to advocate for women’s freedom from tobacco.

Remember that tobacco seriously damages health.