Tobacco control and gender in south-east Asia. Part II: Singapore and Vietnam Academic Article uri icon


  • In the World Health Organization's Western Pacific Region, being born male is the single greatest risk marker for tobacco use. While the literature demonstrates that risks associated with tobacco use may vary according to sex, gender refers to the socially determined roles and responsibilities of men and women, who initiate, continue and quit using tobacco for complex and often different reasons. Cigarette advertising frequently appeals to gender roles. Yet tobacco control policy tends to be gender-blind. Using a broad, gender-sensitivity framework, this contradiction is explored in four Western Pacific countries. Part I of the study presented the rationale, methodology and design of the study, discussed issues surrounding gender and tobacco, and analysed developments in Malaysia and the Philippines (see the previous issue of this journal). Part II deals with Singapore and Vietnam. In all four countries gender was salient for the initiation and maintenance of smoking. Yet, with a few exceptions, gender was largely unrecognized in control policy. Suggestions for overcoming this weakness in order to enhance tobacco control are made.

publication date

  • December 1, 2003