Special Correspondent

MANGALORE: Quit Tobacco India will be organising an awareness programme, aimed at discouraging women from taking to tobacco, on Monday at the Urban Health Centre, Lady Hill Circle, here to mark the “World no tobacco day”.

Its coordinator B. Unnikrishnan said that the World Health Organisation (WHO) had selected “Gender and tobacco with an emphasis on marketing to women” as the theme of this year's No Tobacco Day.

Data from 151 countries showed that 7 per cent of adolescent girls smoke cigarettes as opposed to 12 per cent adolescent boys and WHO has stressed the need for both men and women to be aware of sex-specific effects of tobacco use and the need to provide equal protection from gendered advertising, marketing and development of sex-specific tobacco products by trans-national tobacco companies.

Protection needed

Dr. Unnikrishnan said that the WHO had also found that they needed gender-sensitive information about, and protection from, second-hand smoke and occupational exposure to tobacco or nicotine.

Women smokers

Dr. Unnikrishnan, quoting the WHO, said that women comprised about 20 per cent of the world's more than one billion smokers.

“Women are a major target of opportunity for the tobacco industry, which needs to recruit new users to replace the nearly half of current users, who will die prematurely from tobacco-related diseases,” he said quoting WHO.

Mayor Rajani Dugganna will participate in the awareness programme, Dr. Unnikrishnan said.