Female Smokers Prone to Gender-Specific Cancers

By Susan Tan
Susan Tan
Susan Tan
August 24, 2010 Updated: October 1, 2015

Female smokers are as vulnerable as men to the harms of tobacco, if not even more so, according to a World Health Organization bulletin released Tuesday.  (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Female smokers are as vulnerable as men to the harms of tobacco, if not even more so, according to a World Health Organization bulletin released Tuesday. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Female smokers are as vulnerable as men to the harms of tobacco, if not even more so, according to a World Health Organization bulletin released Tuesday.

Women now account for 20 percent of the over 1 billion smokers around the world. Like men, they are prone to cancer, heart disease, and respiratory disease, but they are also at risk of developing female-specific cancers and weaker pregnancy and reproductive health.

For nearly a century, the tobacco industry has put particular emphasis on gender roles and norms in tobacco promotion. The images of women being glamorous, sexy, and slim and the smoking of tobacco products have been intimately linked to each other since the Roaring ’20s.

Such marketing strategy has been implemented today in both developed and developing countries.

Susan Tan