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Smoking is Ugly

Graphic from the World Health Organisation

Women comprise only about 20% of the world's more than 1 billion smokers, making them especially vulnerable as the tobacco industry look for new markets, say the World Health Organisation (WHO) officials.

Accordingly, this year's World No Tobacco Day will focus on ways to protect women and girls from increased tobacco marketing - a campaign that Cayman's Ministry of Health will join, said Minister of Health the Hon. Mark Scotland.

"Even if tobacco companies try to portray smoking as glamorous and sophisticated, it remains detrimental to one's health. We must therefore continually support and motivate friends and family to quit smoking.

"The plain truth is that smoking kills and I hope that many will use World No Tobacco Day to make the decision to quit." Minister Scotland said.

He applauded the Cayman Islands Cancer Society for their Quit Smoking Programmes, offered free of charge. "This programme will benefit the health of the quitter, but will benefit those around him or her by eliminating the effects of second hand smoke," he stated.

The Minister also thanked businesses owners for embracing the Tobacco Law by voluntarily following the restrictions on smoking: "Many have also ceased to sell tobacco products - a move that is commendable as I believe it will help to reduce smoking."

National Drug Council statistics show that females are less likely to smoke than males - a positive finding that should stay that way, commented Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kiran Kumar. "However, we must not be complacent. Globally health officials are troubled by the rising prevalence of tobacco use among girls and he urged everyone to join the campaign against smoking, he added.

He also urged businesses, bars and restaurants (where smoking is permitted) to join the campaign against smoking by banning smoking and the sale of tobacco products for this World No Tobacco Day.

Facts about Smoking

  • Advertisement of Tobacco Products is prohibited in the Cayman Islands.
  • According to WHO research, tobacco advertising increasingly targets girls.
  • Data from 151 countries show that about 7% of adolescent girls smoke cigarettes as opposed to 12% of adolescent boys. In some countries, almost as many girls smoke as boys.
  • About a third of the male adult global population smokes.
  • A 1998 survey found that tobacco companies were among the top 10 advertisers in 18 out of 66 countries surveyed.
  • Through advertising, tobacco firms try to link smoking with athletic prowess, sexual attractiveness, success, adult sophistication, adventure and self-fulfilment
  • Evidence shows that around 50% of those who start smoking in adolescent years go on to smoke for 15 to 20 years.
  • Peer-reviewed studies show teenagers are heavily influenced by tobacco advertising.
  • The tobacco industry has changed the way it advertises in the last 30 years. Now, only 10% of advertising expenditure goes to print and outdoor advertisements, while more than half goes to promotional allowances and items, such as t-shirts for young people or lighters and key rings.

Sources - WHO: Women and Health: Today's Evidence, Tomorrow's Agenda; Cayman Islands Public Health Department and; http://smoking.ygoy.com/smoking-statistics-general-facts:

(GIS)

For further information contact: Cornelia Oliver