Gender Differences And The Effect Of Health Warnings And Legislation On Cigarette Smoking

  • Peter Owoko Kobonyo


The widespread existence of smoking as a form of social behaviour despite growing worldwide disapproval has placed cigarette smoking at the heart of a crowing controversy. The World Health Organization (WHO) now periodically reports on the effect of tobacco consumption on the health of smokers. In South Africa, new legal steps are being taken towards the control of tobacco smoking. This is in line with world-wide trends towards tougher tobacco legislation. Research on the topic of tobacco and smoking are numerous and represents "World-wide attempts to understand and eradicate what is Generally considered a deadly epidemic. However, the role of gender in cigarette consumption and tobacco-control is surprisingly an under-researched aspect of smoking. While few attempts have been made to study the underlying circumstances of smoking by differentiating between the genders, the possible response to tobacco-control measures by men and women seem to have not commanded much attention. The present study was a response to the need to gain a better understanding of the differences in the smoking profiles of women and men and whether these differences are reflected in the way the two sexes respond, first, to health warnings on smoking and, secondly, to legislation prohibiting advertising of tobacco products. 50 women and 50 men drawn from tertiary institutions and retail businesses participated in the study by completing a questionnaire. The results show some similarities and differences between female and mate smokers. In the light of this, it seems appropriate to suggest that more gender sensitive approaches to dealing with smoking problems might achieve better outcomes.

African Journal of Finance and Management Vol.9(2) 2001:65-77

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eISSN: 0856-6372