World No Tobacco Day focuses on gender and tobacco
Emphasis on marketing to women. Make this the day you stop smoking for good!
The CDC joins its tobacco control partners to celebrate World No Tobacco Day an annual awareness day sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) since 1987 to draw worldwide attention to the tobacco epidemic and the preventable death and disease it causes. The theme for this year’s World No Tobacco Day is “gender and tobacco, with an emphasis on marketing to women.”
Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death worldwide and is estimated to kill more than 5 million people each year. If current trends continue, by 2030, tobacco use will cause more than 8 million deaths annually.
Although women account for only about 20% of the world’s 1 billion smokers, female tobacco use is on the rise. Particularly troubling is evidence that tobacco industry advertising increasingly targets girls and women. World No Tobacco Day 2010 recognizes the importance of controlling the epidemic of tobacco use among women. This year’s theme emphasizes the importance of understanding gender differences in tobacco use, advertising, and health effects to protect and promote the health of women and girls worldwide.
Although the World No Tobacco Day 2010 campaign focuses on women and girls, it also recognizes the need to protect boys and men. According to WHO, gender-specific tobacco control strategies will help reduce tobacco use and improve the health of all individuals around the world.
Central to WHO-recommended strategies for tobacco control is MPOWER a set of six effective tobacco control measures proven to reduce tobacco use:
M – Monitor tobacco use and prevention policies
P – Protect people from tobacco smoke
O – Offer help to quit tobacco use
W – Warn about the dangers of tobacco
E – Enforce bans on tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship
R – Raise taxes on tobacco
All of the MPOWER measures reflect provisions of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), the world’s first global public health treaty, created to coordinate an international response to the tobacco epidemic.
In conjunction with World No Tobacco Day 2010, CDC published an article in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) addressing the issue of gender and tobacco use.
The article, “Differences by Sex in Tobacco Use and Awareness of Tobacco Marketing Bangladesh, Thailand, and Uruguay, 2009,” uses data from the 2009 Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) to examine gender differences in tobacco use (smoked and smokeless) and awareness of tobacco marketing in Bangladesh, Thailand, and Uruguay.
GATS is a nationally representative household survey conducted among persons age 15 years or older using a standard and consistent core questionnaire, sample design, and data collection and management protocols to ensure comparability across countries. CDC designed GATS to produce national and sub-national estimates on tobacco use, exposure to secondhand smoke, and smoking cessation attempts across countries around the globe. The survey also helps countries indirectly measure the impact of their tobacco control and prevention initiatives.
The MMWR article found that while fewer women smoke tobacco products in Bangladesh and Thailand, smokeless tobacco use among women is greater than or equal to that among men. The article also indicated that awareness of in-store cigarette marketing in the past 30 days among women ranged from about 8% in Thailand to 24% in Uruguay. These results support the need for continued implementation of the MPOWER framework.