Job stress, ‘cool factor’ push women into smoking
One disturbing news that has come out on this International Women’s Day is that there has been a rise in casual and social smoking among young working women.
Good news is the warning message on the cigarette packet has worked as deterrent for many women who said that horrifying warning pictures and graphics on cigarette cases explaining harmful effects of smoking scared them.
A recent survey conducted by ASSOCHAM Social Development Foundation analysed a sample of about 2,000 women between ages 22 and 30 years in 10 urban centers viz., Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi-NCR, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai and Pune during the course of past four weeks and found that young working women take to smoking to beat stress.
While of the total about only two per cent said they were heavy smokers (smoking a pack a day or more), majority of these said that peer pressure and work related stress pushed them to increase number of cigarettes they smoked. Some said they smoked for weight loss.
Of the total about 40 per cent identified themselves as very light smokers with a habit of smoking 1-2 cigarettes either daily or occasionally. Many of these, however, said they mostly smoked when drunk and that too socially. About 12 per cent said they were light smokers (2-3 cigarettes a day).
Strangely, some women smoked casually to look cool, increase their attractiveness, show their independence and sophistication.
Women mostly started smoking as they entered college, but as they grew older many quit too fearing infertility and breast cancer. This number is small though.
“More and more number of young women can be seen all around commercial hubs in metros enjoying a smoke comfortably with their colleagues; this is certainly a disturbing trend,” says ASSOCHAM secretary general D.S. Rawat.