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Tobacco kills 1.5 million women annually: UN

May 31st, 2010 SindhToday

Tehran, May 31 (IANS) Use of tobacco kills more than 1.5 million women in world every year, and the number could rise to 2.5 million in the next two decades, the UN has warned.

“Most deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries. Without concerted action, that number could rise to 2.5 million women by 2030,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said.

Ban asked the governments to “turn back the global tobacco epidemic” and “address this public health threat”.

“Tobacco use is not stylish or empowering. It is ugly and deadly,” IRNA news agency quoted him as saying.

The UN said the number of women smokers could grow as the tobacco industry was spending heavily on advertisements that target women and link tobacco use with beauty and liberation.

“Although fewer than one out of 10 women are smokers, that still adds up to an estimated 200 million women around the world,” he said.

According to the World Health Organisation, the number of girls and boys who smoked was about equal in half the 151 countries surveyed. This is worrisome since the young who smoke are likely to continue in adulthood.

“Evidence indicates that the prevalence rate of tobacco use among women is on the rise in some countries,” the statement said.
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