From a “what, you don’t smoke,” to “oh, you smoke” approach, there has been reverberations depicting a radical transformation in the mindsets of smokers and non-smokers.
Even the ones, who smoke at their offices or workplaces, smoke with a self-conscious lot, eyeing out for patrolling cops or passersby, in general.
Neha Gulia, a 24-year-old from Delhi, has been smoking for eight years. “It was considered cool in college,” she quotes. “Now, I am at a point where I smoke nearly 20 cigarettes a day and spend most of my time convincing my family and friends that it won't kill me.”
Many women like Neha have emerged as a major cause of concern for the World Health Organization (WHO), which believes that if women smoking rates reach as much as men’s, it would result in a “unmitigated global public health disaster”.
According to conservative estimates by WHO, worldwide, nearly 20 per cent women smoke – a whopping 250 million.
It can be clearly witnessed that women are a major target for the tobacco industry, which needs to appoint new users in a bid to replace the nearly half of current users who will die prematurely suffering from tobacco-related diseases.