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Do you see young women smoking?


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Old 07-02-2017, 10:58 PM
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Default Do you see young women smoking?

Back in the 1970s-90s I saw tons of young women smoking everywhere I looked. Looking at the stats,Starting in the 70s through the 80s more teen girls smoked than boys. In the 90s teen smoking was high among both girls and boys. In the 80s, Among 18-24 year olds more women than men smoked.

These days I see far less smoking among both women and men but in those fairly rare times I see any young person smoking it's usually a dude. Every now and then I see a younger woman smoking but it's pretty rare. If I see a woman smoking she's usually older, 40+ and grew up in a completely different, more smoking friendly era.

If smoking among young women has plunged as bad as I fear it has this must mean women have completely embraced their anti-smoking programming. They were told not to smoke and herdlike they obeyed. While at least some young men rebel against their anti-smoking conditioning.

Interestingly this shortage of young female smokers seems to be an American thing (and judging from the stats an English language thing as young female smoking rates have also plummeted in Canada, Australia and the UK). Yet on Instagram there are TONS of pictures of young European women smoking with both candid pictures and posing with their cigarettes...like they think its the sexiest thing in the world. There are pictures of groups of young ladies all smoking...you would never (or rarely) see such a scene in the United States these days. Italy seems to have the most of these kind of pictures but you can find them throughout continental Europe....so they aren't going along with the puritan ways of young American women.

So what's your take? Have you noticed this big plunge in young women smoking or do you still see it frequently? If this is happening why do you think it is and will it ever change?

Last edited by StatisticsJason; 07-02-2017 at 11:00 PM.
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Old 07-03-2017, 12:37 AM
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I've never really paid much attention to who is smoking or not, but now that you mention it.... I think there has to be less female smokers than male.

I did a quick count of friends, family, and etc. I come up with a 60/40 split male to female ratio of those that smoke. But...I know more females than males, so that figure is skewed.

Last edited by ohiophil; 07-03-2017 at 12:41 AM.
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Old 07-03-2017, 01:24 AM
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The only country where female smokers outnumber males is the Pacific island of Nauru. Globally, it is an overwhelmingly male habit -- the gap is especially great in most "under-developed" countries, China (61% of men smoke, about 4% of women) and India (31% of men smoke, 3% of women), for example, which are also the two most populous countries.

Last edited by masklofumanto; 07-04-2017 at 06:01 PM. Reason: looked up WHO figures
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Old 07-03-2017, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by masklofumanto View Post
The only country where female smokers outnumber males is the Pacific island of Nauru. Globally, it is an overwhelmingly male habit -- the gap is especially great in most "under-developed" countries, China (more than 60% of men smoke, about 2% of women) and India (33% of men smoke, 6% of women), for example, which are also the two most populous countries.

Sweden has more women then men smokers. This is because Swedish men use Snus in huge numbers.
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Old 07-03-2017, 10:26 AM
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Just to make it clear I'm comparing the U.S of 20, 30 or 40 years ago compared to today. The official stats say there is a relatively small (compared to much of the world) 4 or 5 point male smoking gap and that hasn't changed in about 30 years (it used to be much larger). The official stats also show a huge decline in smoking among both genders. But my observations are that this decline has been especially steep among young women in recent years. I was wondering if anyone else has observed that?
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Old 07-03-2017, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by StatisticsJason View Post
Sweden has more women then men smokers. This is because Swedish men use Snus in huge numbers.
Yes, you're right about Sweden (19.8% of men; 22.7% of women according to WHO statistics). I had forgotten about Sweden. I never made the connection that the reason was because of the use of snus.

Btw, the WHO figures for the United States are 25.7% of men; 20.3% of women. WHO statistics count "adult smokers" from age 15 and up.

Last edited by masklofumanto; 07-04-2017 at 06:04 PM. Reason: corrected figures from more recent WHO Report
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Old 07-05-2017, 01:47 AM
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Originally Posted by StatisticsJason View Post
Just to make it clear I'm comparing the U.S of 20, 30 or 40 years ago compared to today. The official stats say there is a relatively small (compared to much of the world) 4 or 5 point male smoking gap and that hasn't changed in about 30 years (it used to be much larger).
Yes, you're right about that too. When smoking peaked in the U.S. in 1964 (a total of 70 million smokers), 56% of men smoked vs. 34% of women. That number was pretty stable over the preceding fifteen years, as in 1949 57% of men smoked vs. 33% of women.
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Old 07-05-2017, 02:05 AM
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Originally Posted by masklofumanto View Post
Yes, you're right about that too. When smoking peaked in the U.S. in 1964 (a total of 70 million smokers), 56% of men smoked vs. 34% of women. That number was pretty stable over the preceding fifteen years, as in 1949 57% of men smoked vs. 33% of women.
That would explain, at least partly, why the gubbermint raised tobacco tax so much. Less people smoking means less tax income.
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Old 07-05-2017, 03:22 AM
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Originally Posted by ohiophil View Post
That would explain, at least partly, why the gubbermint raised tobacco tax so much. Less people smoking means less tax income.
The decline from 1964 to 1980 was gradual. In 1964, when smoking prevalence in the U.S. peaked, 45% of all adult Americans smoked. By 1980 it was 33.3%. This was accomplished by a combination of restrictions on tobacco advertising and warning labels starting in 1971 and public health education, rather than by coercive measures (i.e., massive excise tax increases, smoking bans, and federal pressure on state governments' tobacco control laws). The decline stalled in the early 80's, then starting in 1984, with a renewed push under Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, the decline resumed so that it was 26% in 1990.

The demographic in which the decline was greatest was white professional males. The smoking gender gap in 1964 was 22 points (56% males; 34% females), then 9 points in 1980 (38% males; 29% females), then 6 points in 1990 (29% males, 23% females).

There are conflicting reports, CDC vs. WHO, regarding where things stand now (I believe the CDC reports tend to under count smokers). Regarding the gender gap, there was still a 6 point difference ten years ago. The WHO report I was looking at earlier today has the gender gap at 5.4 points (25.7% males; 20.3% females) and the overall smoking prevalence at 23%.

A possible conclusion drawn from the rate of decline from 1964 to 1990 vs. 1990 to today is that coercive measures are counterproductive, a conclusion that has been reached by some researchers. Governments around the globe, however, lately seemed to have come to the opposite conclusion.

Regarding Phil's comment, I think the escalation in tobacco excise taxes is a combination of state governments desperate for more revenue in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis (and having squandered their MSA windfall) and a federal government buying into the anti-smoking lobby's views that coercive measures are needed to further drive down smoking prevalence. IMO using taxes for social engineering is an abuse of the government's power of taxation.

Last edited by masklofumanto; 07-05-2017 at 05:32 AM.
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Old 07-06-2017, 06:12 AM
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In Texas it is still legal to smoke in bars. Not all bars allow smoking though - either due to a city wide ban or if the owner wants the bar smoke free. That said, bars and restaurants that do allow smoking are always packed. I would agree that the majority of patrons are male, but on any given day there is always a group (or several) of young and old ladies puffing away. I do think that there are more smokers that are aged 30+ rather than 30-
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