EMail Print



World No Tobacco Day
31 May 2010
Health Promotion



Celebrations in the Afican Region
World No Tobacco Day 2010 Posters
More information

Theme: Gender and tobacco with an emphasis on marketing to women

The World Health Organization (WHO) selects "Gender and tobacco with an emphasis on marketing to women" as the theme for the World No Tobacco Day 2010.

Controlling the epidemic of tobacco among women is an important part of any comprehensive tobacco control strategy. Women are a major target of opportunity for the tobacco industry. The tobacco companies have launched marketing campaigns that represent cigarette smoking as feminine and fashionable to counter the public consensus that smoking is socially unacceptable and unhealthy.

Women comprise about 20% of the world's more than 1 billion smokers. However, this figure is bound to increase. The increasing prevalence of tobacco smoking and other forms of tobacco consumption by women and young girls is alarming. Data from countries of the African region show that tobacco use prevalence ranges from 4.6-36.6% for adolescent girls as opposed to 7.8-36.5% for adolescent boys.

World No Tobacco Day 2010 will be designed to draw particular attention to the harmful effects of tobacco marketing towards women and girls. It will also highlight the need for the Parties to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control to ban all tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship; as well as to protect from exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke.

Actions must be taken to prevent the worsening of the global epidemic of tobacco among women, particularly among the women in low and middle-income countries who are most exposed to second-hand tobacco smoke and represent the tobacco industry's largest unexploited market.

On World No Tobacco Day 2010, WHO calls for particular attention to protect women from the tobacco companies' attempts to attract them into lifetimes of nicotine dependence. By taking actions, governments can reduce the toll of fatal and crippling heart attacks, strokes, cancers and respiratory diseases that have become increasingly prevalent among women. Recognizing the importance of reducing tobacco use among women, and acting upon that recognition, would save many lives.