NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


July 14, 2006

More women are lighting up cigarettes around the world even as the smoking rate declines for men, activists attending an anti-smoking conference said Thursday.

  • About 12 percent of women worldwide smoke, and that figure is expected to rise to 20 percent by 2025, according to a report by the International Network of Women Against Tobacco.
  • In contrast, about 48 percent of men smoke, but that number is expected to decline, according to the report released Thursday at a conference sponsored by the American Cancer Society.

Lorraine Greaves, project leader on the report, said tobacco company marketing is nudging up the female smoking rate in developing countries, much as it did in the United States in the 1960s and 1970s.

Greaves, executive director of the British Columbia Centre of Excellence for Women's Health, said billboard ads for cigarettes overseas often show attractive, modern-looking women smoking.  Billboard ads are banned in the United States under a 1998 agreement between the states and cigarette makers.

  • The researchers said ad campaigns geared toward women overseas have "served to change cultural beliefs about women and smoking," and it cited several countries where such shifts had occurred. 
  • For example, they noted that in Turkey, where it used to be "quite unacceptable for a woman to be seen with a cigarette," the rate of smoking among women is now similar to that of men.

Source: Nancy Zuckerbrod, "Report Says More Women Worldwide Smoking," Associated Press/Fox News, July 13, 2006.

For text:,4670,WomenSmokers,00.html


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