World No Tobacco Day celebrated last week

Tobacco industry is targeting women and girls – World Health Organization declares

The latest report on smoking issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) coming on the threshold of World No-Tobacco Day has showed that women make up 20 percent of 1 billion smokers in the world, and these figures keep growing annually. WHO focused the attention not only to the growing numbers of adult female-smokers, by as well to the growth of smokers among teenage girls.

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An international survey on youth tobacco use has demonstrated that tobacco consumption among girls aged 13-16 years, is even higher than that among teenage boys of the same age. According to the survey, 23.6 percent of girls are taking up cigarette compared to 21.5 percent of boys, and these figures are coming despite the fact that sales to minors are prohibited in the majority of countries.

The WHO report as well demonstrates that in Europe adult men constitute 59 percent of all smokers, and women make up 21 percent. While in Western Europe the rates of smokers among men and women are almost equal (33 percent to 28 percent in Germany), Eastern Europe shows the contrary trend with much fewer smokers among women (60 percent to 30 percent in Cyprus and 61 percent to 5 percent in Armenia). And this tendency couldn’t remain unnoticed by tobacco industry that is currently trying to close this gap by luring women into smoking, alleged the survey.

A report in China: Smokers can’t give up without help

According to a report carried out by China Ministry of Public Health and based on a survey of more than 15,000 internet users across the country, the majority of current smokers face many difficulties while trying to quit cold turkey without help of professionals. The report was published in the Life Times newspaper in advance of the World No Tobacco Day celebrated across China on May 31st and funded in part by international grants.

The report authors deduce that 20 percent of smokers trying to quit admitted they needed medical assistance to overcome nicotine addiction, but only 5 percent were able to receive that assistance. Among those smokers who tried to quit on their own 49 percent didn’t manage to do this, and 35 percent of the surveyed smokers admitted they felt physical pain when trying to give up smoking, while 41 percent mentioned that their environment was not favorable for them to get rid of smoking. Whereas the majority of the respondents considered that smoking made up an essential part of their social life, 10 percent of smokers admitted it was fashionable to quit smoking.

Dr. Zuo Fang, director of tobacco cessation program at the Ministry of Public Health said that the most effective smoking cessation strategy is based on medications, medical assistance and strong desire to give up.

The scientist said that without medical assistance, the success rate is less than 5 percent, and when applying scientific approach the chances may rise that figure to over 30 percent.

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