Opinion

IWD: Flowers to Women in Tobacco Control


By Anjola Fatuase and Paul Ashibel

International Women’s Day (IWD) is a global celebration that honours the progress and accomplishments of women around the world. It serves as a platform to highlight the invaluable contributions women make in all spheres of society.

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Throughout history, women have continually showcased their capabilities and prowess, proving time and again that they can excel in various domains. However, amidst these advancements, the tobacco industry poses a significant threat to the well-being of women, particularly targeting young women with addictive and harmful new tobacco products such as shisha and vapes.

The introduction of new heated products like vapes have only intensified the tobacco industry’s focus on young people. The sleek designs, fruity flavours, and deceptive marketing campaigns of these products make them appealing to a younger demographic.

The tobacco industry exploits the desire for social acceptance and rebellion that is often prevalent in adolescence, targeting vulnerable young women who may be more susceptible to peer influence.

The tobacco industry employs aggressive marketing tactics that not only undermine the progress women have made but also put their health at risk. Despite these challenges, women have played a pivotal role in the fight against tobacco, actively engaging in tobacco control efforts.

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Their resilience and determination have propelled them to advocate for policies and initiatives that protect individuals, especially women, from the harmful effects of tobacco use.

Furthermore, the marketing strategies employed by the industry often manipulate and exploit the aspirations and insecurities of young women, using tactics that appeal to femininity, independence, and empowerment.

This calculated approach seeks to create a false sense of association between tobacco use and personal freedom or empowerment.

However, there is still much work to be done in combating the tobacco epidemic and safeguarding women’s health. It is crucial to rally more women to join the campaign against tobacco use, urging them to stand up against the tobacco industry’s attempts to lure them into addiction.

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By actively participating in awareness campaigns and supporting legislation that curbs tobacco use, women can make a significant difference in the lives of individuals and their communities.

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International Women’s Day serves as a poignant reminder of the progress women have achieved and the challenges they continue to face. It is a day to celebrate their achievements, strength, and resilience while working together to create a healthier and more equitable future for all.

Today, we give deserved flowers to all women working to ensure that our communities are healthy and tobacco-free, and reaffirm our commitment to empowering women and advancing their health and well-being by standing together in the fight against tobacco.

Fatuase works with Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA), while Ashibel is of the Nigeria Tobacco Control Alliance (NTCA).



Joshua Okoria

Joshua Okoria is a Lagos based multi-skilled journalist covering the maritime industry. His ICT and graphic design skills makes him a resourceful person in any modern newsroom. He read mass communication at the Olabisi Onabanjo University and has sharpened his knowledge in media practice from several other short courses. 07030562600, hubitokoria@gmail.com

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