Nowadays, adolescent smoking is increasing day by day and it is increasingly on its way to becoming one of the most pressing health issues in Pakistan. Smoking causes many diseases like cardiovascular diseases(CVDs), lung and other forms of cancer and breathing problems. Smoking not only harms the smokers but it also harms non-smokers who continue to consume this smoke through passive smoking.

According to WHO, 128,000 people die every year due to smoking. According to a report, 19.1% (23.9million) of Pakistan adults engage in smoking, in which 31.8% include men and 5.8% women, who use tobacco products on a daily basis. The ratio of smokers in rural areas is 3.9% as compared to 10% in the urban areas. Most often, smokers are aware of the harmful effects of smoking but they can’t seem to quit because they are addicted to the nicotine in the cigarette.

The government of Pakistan needs to take comprehensive steps to control smoking amongst the youth in universities, in particular. The government should increase taxes on cigarettes or raise the the selling prices. In the longer term, tobacco companies should be banned in Pakistan. Different awareness programs should be organized against smoking, especially in rural areas to control this habit. By taking the above steps, the government will be able to save so many lives.

ROMAISA HUSSAIN,

Karachi, January 23