Let me begin by saying that smoking is harmful to one’s health.
Women who are seen smoking in public are characterized as sly con artists with no morals or regard for society. Frequently, women in this magnificent nation encounter such queries. Having sought to dispel these fallacies on multiple occasions, it was pragmatic, if not required, to investigate their source. Are our cultures, traditions, and social norms? In several civilizations and societies around the world, smoking is taboo. Not only is smoking stigmatized in Pakistan, but it is also frowned upon among women. In Pakistan, smoking by women is a societal taboo and is frequently treated with contempt and criticism.
Factors Contributing to the Taboo:
Smoking is typically associated with men in Pakistan. Men smoking cigarettes in public places is a regular occurrence, but women smoking in public places is altogether another story. In Pakistan, women who smoke are frequently considered rebellious or lacking moral standards. Several factors contribute to the taboo surrounding women who smoke in Pakistan. The country’s cultural and religious values are one of the most critical variables. Pakistan is a predominantly Muslim nation, and Islam prohibits smoking since it is deemed unhealthy. The patriarchal character of Pakistani society further contributes to the social stigma surrounding women who smoke. In Pakistan, women are expected to adhere to traditional gender roles and act in a manner deemed suitable for their gender. As a result, women who smoke are frequently condemned for engaging in a habit that is not regarded as feminine. When labelling smoking a taboo, citing the harm, it brings to human health seems a more convincing argument than the men-can-do-what-they-please approach. In Pakistan, the media plays a crucial role in upholding the taboo around women who smoke. Women who smoke are frequently portrayed negatively in films and on television. They are described as unruly, promiscuous, and devoid of moral principles. This portrayal promotes the negative preconceptions of smoking women and contributes to the stigma surrounding the behaviour.
A Patriarchal War
For a long time, women did not smoke; the trend did not exist. For the cigarette industry, this represented a missed opportunity. A male was more accessible to convince to smoke than a woman. Intriguingly, this was a moment of tremendous cultural upheaval – women worldwide were speaking out against gender inequity, an important topic. When awareness of equal rights and gender discrimination increasingly expanded, movements gained momentum. This was an opportunity for women worldwide to battle against decades of patriarchal domination and bigotry and gain momentum on their path to independence and a sense of freedom. Despite the difficulties faced by women who smoke in Pakistan, efforts are being made to break the taboo surrounding the activity. Women’s rights organizations are attempting to promote awareness and counter the negative perceptions connected with female smokers. Other groups are also trying to help women who wish to quit smoking with support and services.
The dilemma of Smoking in Public Places
Particularly when it comes to smoking in public spaces, smoking is a contentious and divided issue. Others claim that smoking in public areas violates the right of nonsmokers to breathe clean air, even though many believe that smoking is a personal choice that should be respected. The conundrum of smoking in public spaces is a complicated subject that demands careful consideration of both smokers’ and nonsmokers’ wants and rights. In addition, there is no broad consensus on the health risks of secondhand smoke, which complicates the dilemma around smoking in public spaces. While it is generally accepted that secondhand smoke is detrimental, the magnitude of the harm and the threshold of exposure considered unsafe are the subjects of discussion. This uncertainty makes establishing clear and consistent smoking restrictions in public settings complex.
But if a woman dares to smoke in a public place, she is patronized by males and attracts more attention than a group of immature lads smoking in a no-smoking zone.
It is a frequent misconception that smoking is a male habit and that women who smoke are rebellious or make a statement. Yet, as a “style statement” among women, tobacco is a complex and nuanced topic that demands thorough consideration. There are numerous reasons why some ladies may smoke as a fashion statement. For some, smoking is a form of defiance against conventional gender roles and societal norms. Women who smoke may perceive smoking as asserting independence and challenging gender norms. Some may perceive smoking as a means of projecting sophistication or glamour. In popular culture, smoking is frequently linked with elegance and sophistication, and some women may choose to smoke to portray a particular image or persona. In other instances, smoking may be considered a status symbol, with women using cigarettes to demonstrate membership in a specific social group or scene. By presenting smoking as a symbol of rebellion or sophistication, we perpetuate the notion that for women to be considered seriously, they must continuously push limits and challenge cultural norms. This can be especially detrimental for young women, who may feel pressured to comply with these stereotypes to be accepted or fit in.
Similarly to abortion, smoking has become a contentious matter of discussion. The perception of women who smoke in public is that they are cunning charlatans with no morals or respect for society. This person will undoubtedly be seen partying with strange guys until the small hours of the morning, and, of course, if she smokes, she indeed also drinks.
As a result of cultural and religious norms, gender roles, and unfavourable perceptions, smoking by women is considered taboo in Pakistan. As a result, women who smoke in Pakistan are exposed to discrimination, social isolation, and sometimes physical violence. Nonetheless, efforts are being made to combat the stigma surrounding women who smoke and to provide help and tools for women who wish to quit. It is feasible to establish a more inclusive and supportive society for all women by confronting the negative stereotypes associated with women who smoke and providing information and assistance.