The World Health Organization (WHO) has selected “Gender and tobacco with an emphasis on marketing to women” as the theme for the 2010 World No Tobacco Day, drawing particular attention to the need to protect women and girls from the harmful effects of tobacco marketing and smoke in accordance with WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.
Tobacco use is one of the biggest public health threats and one of the main risk factors for a number of chronic diseases, including cancer, lung diseases and cardiovascular diseases. It kills more than five million people a year – an average of one person every six seconds – and accounts for one in 10 adult deaths. Up to half of current users will eventually die of a tobacco-related disease. More than 80% of the one billion smokers worldwide live in low- and middle-income countries, where the burden of tobacco-related illness and death is heaviest.
Tobacco use is addictive and helping people to quit is a challenge. There is strong, consistent evidence that the use of Nicotine Replacement Therapy products (NRT) increases the rate of success in quitting smoking, is cost effective and safe. Nonprescription availability of NRT products has been shown to efficiently support individual countries’ smoking cessation efforts.