India - Tobacco Atlas - Indian women among worst smokers in world..

August 27, 2009 - According to the latest Tobacco Atlas, 3rd Edition, Indian women are among the worst in the world ranking third in the top 20 female smoking populations. Only the US with 2.3 crore female smokers and China with 1.3 crore women smokers are worse off than India in this chart. (A crore is a unit in the Indian numbering system equal to ten million.)

However, as far as percentage of women smoking is concerned, it is below 20% for India. Among India's immediate neighbors, only Pakistan figures in this infamous list, but right at the bottom at 20th with around 30 lakh female smokers. (A lakh is a unit in the Indian numbering system equal to one hundred thousand.)

Take a look - premature aging - women become older looking before their time. Female smokers in India die an average eight years earlier than their non-smoking peers.

According to the Atlas, about 250 million women in the world are daily smokers -- 22% being from high resource countries and 9% from low and middle resource countries. Realizing the potential of this growing market, the Atlas said the tobacco industry has been marketing cigarettes to women using seductive but false images of vitality, emancipation, slimness, sophistication and sexual allure.

Reacting to the report, Dr P C Gupta, director of Healis Sekhsaria Institute of Public Health, told TOI that this finding had very serious implications for India. "Even though the percentage prevalence of women smoking in India isn't that high, the number is huge. In addition to all the harm that tobacco causes to men, women are additionally exposed in a special way because of their reproductive function." Gupta added that tobacco consumption reduced birth weight of the foetus, decreased their gestational age leading to premature babies, increased the risk of still births and heightened chances of anaemia among adult pregnant women.

The Atlas said tobacco killed some six million people each year -- more than a third of whom will die from cancer -- and drained $500 billion annually from global economies. As 25% of smokers die and many more become ill during their most productive years, income loss devastates families and communities. In 2010, 72% of those who die from tobacco related illnesses would be in low- and middle-income countries. By 2030, 83% of these deaths will occur in low and middle-income countries.

Reference: India third on global 'female smoking list' Kounteya Sinha, The Times of India, 8/27/2009.

Click on image to enlarge, the Indian emblem..



August 28, 2009 at 5:41 AM

info on women smoking here - Why Women Should Never Smoke