Tobacco Companies Increase Marketing To Women In Developing Countries

Agence France-Presse examines a trend among tobacco firms targeting ads toward women in developing countries: “Advertisements telling smokers they are smarter, more energetic and better lovers than their non-smoking counterparts are a familiar sight across Bangladesh – something unimaginable in most other countries,” the news service writes. Health experts worry that such advertisements may be behind a rise in the numbers of Bangladeshi women using tobacco.

According to WHO, in Bangladesh, “43 percent of the adult population – or 41 million people – use tobacco in some form, up from 37 percent in 2004. … The country fits a pattern emerging across the region of rising rates of female tobacco use, particularly in Southeast Asian countries such as Indonesia, the Philippines and Cambodia,” AFP writes.

It’s a trend “[t]obacco companies are encouraging …, viewing women in developing countries as their ‘largest unexploited market’, according to the WHO – which has chosen the theme of tobacco marketing to women for 2010 No Tobacco Day on May 31.”

The piece includes comments by WHO Secretary-General Margaret Chan, a company spokesperson from British American Tobacco and several people in Bangladesh (Barton, 4/29).

The KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report summarized news and information on global health policy from hundreds of sources, from May 2009 through December 2020. All summaries are archived and available via search.

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