Indian women smokers working with BPOs, News media on rising trend: Study
As the globe gears up to celebrate ‘World no tobacco day’ on May 31st, 2010 there is a sad contribution from India. The country witnesses a growing number of women smokers and the case is specifically relevant to females working in BPOs and media.
The picture looks sad especially in a culturally rich nation like ours where there is still a social stigma attached to women smoking. A recent study revealed that nearly 8% of female BPO workers smoke and the percentage is much larger (5-35%) in media.
According to the survey the majority of women smokers are still unaware of the health hazards of smoking. The only health hazards they are aware of is cancer and heart disease related to smoking. Women smokers did not know that smoking is also known to cause infertility and many other problems related to child birth.
Lead researcher Dr. Ravikant Singh from Non-government organization ‘Doctors for You’ said, “Smoking can cause infertility, miscarriages and still births. It is worrying that women don’t know about this.”
The women smokers working in BPOs and media take to smoking mostly due to peer pressure or under stress. They start by becoming passive smokers as they share the same group which has smokers and eventually themselves become smokers. According to study the other factors responsible for women smoking is taking smoking as a sign of women’s liberalization and identity search. Dr. Gauravi Mishra from Tata Hospital, said, “Many women considered it a sign of liberalization, an affirmation of their identity as a free person and an equal.”
For the purpose of the study 646 employees working with 4 BPOs in the city across the nation were studied for over 18 months and 1500 media persons working with 15 advertising, print and electronic media were interviewed. The study is first of its kind that considered women smokers in the country.
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