10 facts on gender and tobacco

May 2010

 A woman’s hand holding a cigarette
Nick K. Schneider

About 200 million of the world's one billion smokers are women. The tobacco industry aggressively targets women in order to increase its consumer base and to replace those consumers who quit or who die prematurely from cancer, heart attack, stroke, emphysema or other tobacco-related disease.

Girls and boys start using tobacco for different reasons, and tobacco use harms women and men differently. Approximately 1.5 million women die every year from tobacco use. Understanding and controlling the tobacco epidemic among women is an important part of any tobacco control strategy.

World No Tobacco Day 2010 focuses on the harm that tobacco marketing and smoke do to women. 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.

Ten facts on gender and tobacco

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