In Germany, smoking rates among women have been slightly declining since 2003. However, smoking rates among young women and girls are high and are reaching the smoking rates of their male counterparts. Only about half of pregnant smokers below the age of 25 stop smoking. Women and girls with low education and low level jobs, those who are unemployed, as well as single parents have the highest smoking rates. The tobacco industry promotes smoking behavior of women and girls through marketing campaigns, thus, systematically counteracting smoking prevention activities. Within the framework of the annual conference 2008 of the Federal Drug Commissioner on the theme of "Women and Smoking", recommendations for a gender-specific tobacco control policy in Germany were developed. The main demands relate to the necessity of a targeted policy approach which takes into account the needs and life circumstances of women and girls, the development of integrated prevention programs for pregnant women, improved medical and preventive care, the involvement of women from the media and culture, from health professions and politics to promote a smoke-free culture, gender-specific research, and the improvement of tobacco control legislation. FACT (Frauen aktiv contra Tabak e.V.) actively supports the implementation of these policy recommendations.
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