Today is Memorial Day in the United States. It is also the day the the World Health Organization (WHO) has chosen to bring worldwide focus on tobacco use prevention and cessation. The theme of World No Tobacco Day 2010 is "Gender and tobacco with an emphasis on marketing to women."
According to WHO, women comprise about 20% of the world's more than 1 billion smokers. Young girls/women are often the target of the tobacco industry marketing.
As with tanning, young girls don’t often respond to being told about the serious health risks (cancer, COPD, emphysema, heart disease, stroke, etc) as they still feel invincible. So perhaps instead of telling them that the adverse health effects from cigarette smoking account for an estimated 443,000 deaths, or nearly 1 of every 5 deaths, each year in the United States, we should focus on how smoking isn’t good for their looks.
So perhaps as WHO’s posters suggest, we should focus on how smoking is UGLY. How smoking can discolor their teeth and fingertips. Perhaps we should focus on how smoking increases wrinkling and premature aging of the skin.
Perhaps if we show them the effects of mouth and throat cancer which are visible in a way that lung cancer isn’t, they might get it.