Press Release by Congresswoman Pelosi

Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi

Against Tobacco's Marketing to Women and Girls

July 16, 1998

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) today addressed a serious health issue: the tobacco industry's attempt to lure women and girls into the addictive and deadly habit of smoking. "As the tobacco industry is increasingly forced to look globally for expansion of their market, women are primary targets. Today, only about 12% of women smoke. The tobacco industry is working to change that," Pelosi said at a news briefing on Women, Girls and the Threat of Tobacco, An Appeal for Global Action.

Rep. Pelosi pointed to tobacco's well-crafted advertising and marketing campaigns that lure women and girls into picking up this deadly habit. "Whether it be posters with a picture of the Madonna amidst packets of cigarettes, or Yves St. Laurent gift packs, the industry is using its advertising savvy to recruit women to smoking," Pelosi said.

Statistics indicate that because of increased use of tobacco internationally, it is estimated that a quarter billion women will die of tobacco use over a generation. "This is an unacceptable statistic because it is preventable," Pelosi said. "Women in this country and overseas need to know the truth: there's nothing cool about dying from lung cancer."

Congresswoman Pelosi praised the efforts of the sponsoring organizations of today's event: the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, American Medical Women's Association, Center for Communications, Health and the Environment, National Center for Tobacco-Free Kids and Essential Action.

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