May 31: World No Tobacco Day

Today, May 31, is the 23rd "World No Tobacco Day". At least today, you and I should work together to allow the good wish "World No Tobacco" come to reality to an utmost degree.

The ‘World No Tobacco Day’ every year has a specific theme. For example in 2009 it was "Refuse Second-Hand Smoke, Let your Lung Breathe freely", and this year the theme is "Gender and Tobacco: Concern Promotion Behaviors to Women"

Obviously, this year the theme of ‘World No Tobacco Day’ is against to tobacconists directly. As the market aimed to male smokers has no more space to dig – the number of male smokers in many countries and regions is continued to decrease –so tobacco companies around the world switch their expect for a huge profits to women.

In low and middle income countries, including developing countries like China, the tobacco industry begin to infiltrate through female market via various channels, they work hard to play up the benefits of smoking to women. Dr. Betcher, Director of WHO Tobacco Free Initiative, said at the news conference held at United Nations Office at Geneva on 28, May, said: "Tobacco companies are investing heavily in marketing to attract women, especially in middle income countries. They induce women believe that smoking is a symbol of beauty and liberation. Under the influence of this market strategy more and more young girls start smoking. "

Currently, 40% of men around the world smoke, while women smokers only accounted for 9% of the entire female population. Therefore, to promote more and more women to become smokers, become a big business in the eyes of tobacco companies. However, there is an unethical matter lies in this practice: compared to men, women are more susceptible to harms of tobaccos.

Among the 1 billion smokers on the earth, women smokers only account for 20%. However, among the 500 millions people who died from smoking every year, there are 150 millions are women, accounting for 30%. That is to say that among 800 million male smokers, there were 350 million lost their lives due to smoking every year, the ratio accounting for 0.44%; while the death rate of women smokers is as high as 0.75%, which is almost double the male.

Now the WHO is appealing to worldwide governments to prohibit all tobacco adverting, promotion and sponsorship activities, and take actions to protect women's lives and health from threat of tobacco. Aside from the resistance to tobacco advertising, promotion and activities, we should take actions from ourselves, exhort women close to ourselves away for smoking or persuade women smokers give up smoking as soon as possible.

* Original address of this China gift post: China Gift and Fine Arts & Crafts in China

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