More women worldwide are taking up smoking - even as rates for men decline - and activists say tobacco-company marketing in the developing world is responsible.
Using data from the World Health Organization (WHO), a report issued by the International Network of Women Against Tobacco said about 12 percent of women worldwide smoke. That figure is expected to rise to 20 percent by 2025, according to the activist group, which released its findings at a Thursday press conference sponsored by the American Cancer Society, the Associated Press reported.
About 48 percent of men smoke, but that number is expected to decline, the report said.
Lorraine Greaves, project leader, said tobacco marketing pushed the female smoking rate up in developing countries, much as it did in the United States in the 1960s and 1970s. Greaves, who is 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. Those same billboard ads have been banned in the United States since 1998, the AP reported.
World Health Organization officials also said Thursday that they plan to distribute internationally a California study that cites a causal link between second-hand smoke and breast cancer. The US Surgeon general, however, has said there's not enough evidence to conclude a causal link exists, the AP reported. – (HealthDayNews)
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