Millions of dollars spent in Jordan on tobacco by women smokers

[6/30/2012 12:00:00 AM]

AMMONNEWS - Jordanians spend hundreds of millions of dollars every year on smoking and women’s consumption of tobacco is actually more than that of men, according to a report.

Diana is an example of a woman whose smoking habits support the figures.

Diana has been a smoker for seven years and consumes at least 40 cigarettes a day and spends around 150 dollars on tobacco every month.

“I love smoking and enjoy it,” she said. “Right now, I am not thinking of quitting.”

Curiosity and love of adventure is how Diana, like many other girls, began to despite many people frowning down on women smokers.

The social factor did not prevent the number of women smokers from increasing until it even exceeded that of men, according to the Expenses Survey report for the year 2010.

Some women prefer the water pipe, or the narghile, to cigarettes because they find it more entertaining regardless of the cost.

While one narghile smoker says she spends 400-600 dinars every month, another argues that the narghile is cheaper than cigarettes.

According to Malek al-Habashna, head of the Awareness Department at the Jordanian Ministry of Health, Jordanians spent around 352 million dinars on smoking and this figure jumped to 481 million in 2010.

“This means a 36 percent increase in what we call direct expenditure.”

Indirect expenditure, Habashna added, is the money the state spends annually on the treatment of the side effects of smoking.

“This amounts to 700 million dollars per year.”

Several factors drive women to smoke, the most important of which is financial independence and then the desire to follow a “modernized” lifestyle, the remarkable drop in marriage rates, and lack of monitoring on the part of parents.

* Al Arabiya

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