Iran - surge in female smokers..

March 4, 2010 - The smoking rate among Iranian women is about 4.5%, jumping from 1.5% in the past years, a member of the anti-drug committee at the Health Ministry said here on Monday, March 1st.

Warning of the alarming rise in number of female smokers across the country, Hassan Azaripour said, "Smoking rate for men is still higher than women, but what is important is that smoking pattern is on the verge of change in developing countries, including Iran." According to Azaripour, women account for about 20-25 percent of smokers in developed countries, while the figure is between four and eight percent in developing states.

Health Minister Marzieh Vahid-Dastjerdi has recently warned of the rising number of teenage smokers, saying that 80% of the country's smokers get into the habit under the age of 15. According to the official figures, smoking is responsible for 30% of cancer deaths and 90% of lung cancers.

And smoking age has been reduced to 13 in the country, although smokers are mostly over the age of 30.

Reference: Surge in Iranian female smokers, Source: Mehr News Agency, Tehran, 3/2/2010.

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