‘Karachi to be made smoke-free’

KARACHI – Karachi Commissioner Muhammad Iqbal Memon on Sunday said that the city administration of Karachi Division will take all possible steps to make Karachi a smoke-free city.   

Tobacco Control Desk for monitoring the activities for making Smoke Free Karachi will be established in the office of Commissioner and the District Implementation and Monitoring Committees (DIMC) on tobacco control will also be formed for effective monitoring in all the districts under the supervision of deputy commissioners. He was speaking as a chief guest after inauguration of Smoke-Free Karachi Cycling Rally, started from Empress Market and ended at Mazar e Quaid held in collaboration with the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination (NHSRC), said a communique. He further said that steps would be taken to make public service vehicles and restaurants smoke-free. Money spent on tobacco reduces households’ spending on food, health, education, housing, and household durables, he added.

In Pakistan, tobacco-consuming households spend on average 2.7 percent of their monthly budget on tobacco. Poor households spend 3.0 percent of their budget on tobacco. This is more than they spend on education (1.8%), he said. 

He further said that according to a report, Tobacco kills over 163,600 people each year in Pakistan. Almost 31,000 of these deaths are due to exposure to secondhand smoke.  He also referred a report of WHO that said the tobacco epidemic was one of the biggest public health threats the world had ever faced, killing more than 8 million people a year around the world. 

More than 7 million of those deaths are the result of direct tobacco use while around 1.2 million are the result of non-smokers being exposed to secondhand smoke.

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