LAHORE - Vice Chancellor of University of Health Sciences (UHS), Prof Malik Hussain Mubbashar has said that smoking is a behaviour related disorder and there is a need to establish a multi-dimensional task force to evolve strategies for tacking this menace. According to a press release, he was addressing at a seminar on 'Implementation of Prohibitation of Smoking and Protection of Non-Smokers Health Ordinance 2002', here at UHS held in connection with the World No Tobacco Day 2008 on Monday. The seminar was organised by the Centre for Health Environment Studies of UHS in collaboration with the World Health Organisation, Punjab Health Department and a non-governmental organisation, Green Future. Prof Mubbashar said that three factors were involved in this problem, which included personality, environment and availability of substance. He was of the view that so-called western pesudo-cults had changed our age-old traditions and values, which created a vacuum in the personality of our children. To fill this vacuum they resorted to smoking and other forms of substance abuse. He added that 42 per cent of global disease burden was related to behavioural disorders. Prof Mubbashar further said that a meaningful programme, involving various departments of government including health, environment, law, information and education department, would be launched to deal with the problem of smoking, at the same time taking care of all four aspects of health, that is preventive, promotive, protective and curative. Shahzad Alam Khan of World Health Organisation said that according to statistics nearly 38 per cent of the total population of Punjab smoked cigarettes and or used tobacco in other forms, tobacco smoke reaching more than 95 per cent of the population. He informed that smoking caused 5.4 million deaths every year in the world. "Approximately 1.8 billion young people (aged 10-24) live in our world today with more than 85 per cent found in developing countries". He disclosed that smoking was decreasing in the developed world but increasing in the developing countries. He stated that 76 billion cigarettes were used in Pakistan every year. Shahzad further said that according to WHO Global Youth Tobacco Survey 2003, out of 2,132 students from various cities of Punjab, 6 per cent used any form of tobacco, 31 per cent had one or more parents who smoked, and 22.8 per cent students had been offered free cigarettes by tobacco company representatives. He maintained that one of the most effective ways to protect young people from experimenting and becoming regular users was to ban all forms of direct and indirect tobacco advertising, including promotion of tobacco products and sponsorship, by the tobacco industry, of any event or activity. He also said that tobacco companies should disclose tobacco contents and print pictorial health warning on cigarettes packs. Director General Health Services Punjab, Dr Aslam Chaudhry emphasized the need of enhancing public awareness about the hazards of smoking. He said that federal government promulgated an ordinance in 2002 for the prohibition of smoking. Similarly, the provincial government had passed an act in 2003 prohibiting juvenile smoking and the sale of tobacco to juveniles within the province. However, he said, this legislation needed to be enforced. "There is a need to evolve an effective strategy for the implementation of the ordinance and also to strengthen the legal framework regarding the monitoring and implementation of the law", he added. A number of health processionals, students and representatives of transport association attended the seminar.