About this issue

Tobacco use is a complex phenomenon, affected by a range of social, political, cultural and economic factors. However, its use and exposure has consistently been gendered. Numerous frameworks have been developed to help us understand the causes, influences, and solutions to global tobacco use. These frameworks remind us that tobacco use is more than a health issue and that addressing tobacco use and exposure, especially in girls and women, requires paying attention to all of these social, political, cultural, and economic factors.

Tobacco use has harmful social and health consequences that can be addressed through evidence-based policies, advocacy, and community action. The 'tobacco control movement' endorses a comprehensive set of strategies including a focus on prevention, cessation, marketing, cultivation, sales, exposure, and legal and human rights protections. In our work on women and tobacco at the BC Centre of Excellence for Women's Health, we try to make explicit the connections between tobacco use and gender equity and support approaches to tobacco control that build bridges between public health and social justice and human rights concerns. Given women's roles in families and communities, addressing issues related to women and tobacco promotes improved health and increased freedom for everyone.


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