SIALKOT - - Lawyers, media representatives, health professionals and civil society organisations of Sialkot offered their full support for the consumers protection and the tobacco control movement. Speakers at a seminar were of the view that Pakistan needs strong political will to stop the tobacco epidemic that kills more than 274 people daily. They stressed the need for a ban on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship during a training and awareness session of professional bodies and citizen groups held by NGO ‘TheNetwork’ for ensuring consumers’ protection in the city.District Bar Association President Shahid Mir Advocate, Medical College Principal Khawaja Safdar, health professional Dr. Nousheen Omer, lawyers, media representatives and civil society members participated in the session to discuss different aspects of need for a comprehensive ban on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.On the occasion, Dr Hassan Mehmood, the Project Coordinator of TheNetwork, said that the smoke-free courts, bar associations, hospitals, educational institutions, district offices and media will certainly create a positive impact and set an example.Advocacy Officer Ms Rubina Bhatti, Communication Officer Ms Aasma Qamar and Assistant Project Coordinator of TheNetwork for Consumer Protection Mr Waheed Iqbal were also present. They discussed in details the growing tobacco use and aggressive marketing and promotion of tobacco products by tobacco companies.The participants expressed grave concern over the poor enforcement of the Prohibition of Smoking & Protection of Non-Smokers Health Ordinance 2002 and the Tobacco Vendors Act 1958. They emphasised the need for effective enforcement of tobacco control laws in Sialkot city. The participants were told that Sialkot city’s district authorities had got the solution to overcome the challenge years back. The tobacco control law 2002 bans tobacco use in public places and public transport. Also it bans the advertising and promotional activities of tobacco companies to attract youth towards tobacco use. It is high time for Sialkot city administration to enforce tobacco control laws in the city to reduce more than 100,000 tobacco related deaths in Pakistan.The recently held UN Conference on Sustainable Development Rio+20 also acknowledged that the global burden and threat of non-communicable diseases constitutes one of the major challenges for sustainable development in the 21 Century”. Tobacco is a strong risk factor for all four top non-communicable diseases and number 1 preventable global killer. Reduction in its use should be a top priority of the government of Pakistan.