Last Update 23:15
Sunday, 11 April 2021

200 million women smoke out of a billion smokers worldwide; 2.2 million die annually

Tobacco companies target women with their systematic marketing campaigns while 'celebrating' International Women's Day every year

Ahmad Imam, Monday 8 Mar 2021
Reuters
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The latest research that tackles tobacco control at the UK's University of Bath revealed that there are 200 million female smokers in the world out of one billion smokers.

The research highlighted that 2.2 million women die from tobacco use out of 8.71 million deaths annually.

The study also found that second-hand smoking affects 71 percent of women who live in low and middle-income countries. Women also comprise 64 percent of total annual deaths associated with second-hand smoking.

The study added that smoking leads to profound risks to a woman's reproductive health, in addition to an increased risk of stroke, heart, and lung diseases and cancer.

Smoking causes women to suffer from reproductive health problems such as an increased risk of infertility and a delay in pregnancy, an increased risk of cervical cancer, and an increased risk of premature labour. Stillbirth and death of newborns can occur to those who smoke during pregnancy.

The studies also noted that smoking increases the likelihood of falling into poverty, which fuels domestic violence, especially against women, and that the addictive nature of tobacco use negatively affects the priorities of household spending, with less money being allocated to food, education, housing, holidays, and more.

The research indicated that the tobacco industry targets women with its marketing campaigns, and often markets to women through other women.

Since the 1960s, the tobacco industry has directed highly funded marketing campaigns towards women through advertisements that link tobacco use with notions of beauty, thinness, sophistication, and prestige.

Tobacco use was also associated in these campaigns with liberalisation, freedom, romance, and sexuality.

Even today, tobacco companies use the same strategies to market their products on all available platforms, including social media through female influencers.

The research highlighted that tobacco companies celebrate International Women's Day every year with the promise of gender equity, but ignores the tens of millions of women who have been harmed by their products and business practices.

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