Wednesday, July 30, 2008


“Women and Tobacco - Policy Guidelines and Gender Framework” – the session by Soon Young-Yoon started with a very lively introduction of all the participants. The session echoed an emphasis on the need to work on issues related to gender equality and tobacco.

It was highlighted that a gender approach to tobacco control policy is important as it identifies the ways in which the health risks, experiences and outcomes of tobacco use are different for women and men and for boys and girls. The session zeroed in on the fact that the tobacco industry has segmented the tobacco market by gender roles and this fact needs to be duly considered while addressing tobacco control issues. The session also explained that the preamble of the WHO FCTC commits governments to mainstream gender into tobacco control policies and programs. The M POWER roadmap through a gender lens was discussed. Monitoring tobacco use by gender and ensuring gender–sensitive prevention policies was highlighted. Offering help to women and girls of all ages to quit tobacco and warning the women and girls about the dangers of tobacco were discerned as important aspects for comprehensive tobacco control.

“The exposure to Second Hand Smoke is a gender equality issue” said Soon Young-Yoon. The session called for a consolidated effort on working through issues related to gender equality and tobacco.

Dr. Niki Shrestha

Junior Public Health Professional

Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI)

World Health Organization, South-East Asia Regional Office

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