Female empowerment raises their smoking rate

Women in developing countries are smoking more, researchers say

An analysis of 74 countries has found that men are more likely to smoke than women in countries that have lower rates of female empowerment, like China, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Uganda. In countries with high female empowerment, like Canada, Norway, Australia and the U.S., the gap is smaller and women smoke almost as much as men. The tobacco epidemic is expected to worsen in developing countries as women’s rising economic and political status leads them to smoke more. Tobacco kills up to half of those who use it, and the World Health Organization has called it “one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced.” In China, 61 per cent of men are current smokers, compared to 4.2 per cent of women, but that is expected to change.


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