KARACHI - Mayor Wasim Akhtar expressed concern on increase in tobacco use in youth and stressing on the need to save our youth particularly students from smoking.

He said this while speaking as a chief guest in seminary held in Sobhraj Maternity Hospital on the World No Tobacco Day on Thursday.

He said that all hospitals of the KMC and offices should affix no smoking board inside their limits.

The mayor said about 12 percent of deaths occurred all over the world due to cardiovascular diseases are due to the use of tobacco and on average 6 lac people die each year due to environmental pollution created by tobacco use whereas, 60 lac deaths occurred due to direct use of tobacco. In Pakistan every year 1, 60,100 deaths occurred due to use of tobacco, he added.

He said this year World Health Organization has joined with the World Heart Federation to highlight the link between tobacco and cardiovascular diseases. Using tobacco causes cancer and lung disease, but many people aren’t aware that tobacco also causes heart disease and stroke, he added. Wasim added World No Tobacco Day is drawing attention to the fact that tobacco doesn’t just cause cancer, it quite literally breaks hearts.

He called this unfortunate that despite lot of damages due to use of tobacco, some organisations working for promotion of tobacco use through various lucky draws and other means to bring attention of people especially youth towards use of tobacco.

Media can play vital role in stopping this trend in our society, he said and adding, the government has this responsibility to protect citizens from suffering needlessly from heart disease and measures that reduce the risks to heart health posed by tobacco include making all indoor public and workplaces completely smoke-free and promoting use of tobacco package warnings that demonstrate the health risks of tobacco.

Replying to a query, he said that heatwave treatment ward has been established in every hospital of Karachi where doctors and paramedics with required medicines are available on round the clock basis.

He said that dog vaccination was being carried out under an agreement with the Indus Hospitals in Karachi to save the people from dog biting. The Rabies Control Programme was aimed at providing safeguard to citizens against dog biting and spread of rabies virus among local population, he added.

The pilot project initiated in Ibrahim Haidery union councils will soon be extended to other areas of Karachi.

He said besides governments doing their duty in this connection, citizens also should fulfill their responsibility and refrain from use of tobacco in any form, only then we can fulfill the dream of a healthy and diseases free society.

Chairperson Medical Committee of the City Council Naheed Fatima, Director Health and Medical Services KMC Dr Birbal, Medical Superintendent Sobhraj Maternity Hospital Dr Muhammad Ali, Dr Mehwish, Dr Devi and others were also present on this occasion.