Number of women tobacco users rising, leaving men behind - RNews1 Network

Number of women tobacco users rising, leaving men behind

Smoking, woman smoking, smoking lady, girl smoking
New Delhi : It seems like woman’s are on a gag to leave men behind in everything. Latest reports states that women are in all possible way becoming more tobacco users then men are. The number of women consuming tobacco products has doubled over 15 years, according to a report by the Public Health Foundation of India.

While only 10% of women consumed tobacco products during the mid and late-1990s, the number has increased to 20% in recent years, the report said. Tobacco consumption among men has remained in the range of 45-57% between 1995-96 and 2009-10.

The increase in tobacco consumption among women was largely fueled by the rise in smokeless tobacco use, the PHFI report said. Promotional tactics companies linking tobacco consumption to empowerment as another is a significant factor, experts say.

According to reports various surveys and studies show that India is an the second stage of tobacco epidemic where women tend to follow male pattern. “This is an expected rise. India is a developing nation witnessing tremendous socio-economic development coupled with financial independence of women. 

The tobacco industry sees women as lucrative consumers waiting to be trapped at this point,” Monika Arora, director-health promotion division at PHFI, said.

As per reports women, in both urban and as well as rural settings, see tobacco consumption as a sign of empowerment and hence they follow men, Arora added. This has been further enhanced due to Bollywood films containing tobacco imagery, resulting in large level exposure in India, relative to other countries, she said.

Trends in western countries show men are the first ones to start smoking with a gradual increase in the trend. In the second stage, women follow them.

However, in the third phase, males face morbidity and mortality, while the impact of tobacco consumption increases among the women. In the last leg, consumption is generally on a decline among both sexes, through morbidity and mortality continue to rise due to rising trends in the previous phases.

The latest National Family Health Survey and Global Adult Tobacco Survey also showed a significant rise in women consumption tobacco. While NFHS pegged the increase at around 11% GATS study for 2009-10 showed 21% rise in women consuming tobacco.

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