Commissioner urges to promote smoke-free society

ISLAMABAD – Chief Commissioner Islamabad Aamer Ali Ahmed on Monday stressed the need for developing a curriculum to make next generations smoke-free.

“We want our generations smoke-free and every citizen should contribute to this noble cause to safeguard the health and well being of our present and future generations,” said chief commissioner at a ceremony in connection with World No-Tobacco Day, which is observed worldwide on May 31 each year. He vowed to raise awareness and promote a smoke-free society by providing awareness against tobacco use and empower young people to engage in the fight against tobacco. Ahmed stated that the global tobacco epidemic kills nearly 8 million people globally every year.  More than 7 million of these deaths are from direct tobacco use and around 1.2 million are due to non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke. Later,  Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration and Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination (MoNHSRC) signed a letter of intent (LoI) with the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) to work together to make next generations tobacco free. According to LoI, thousands of FDE students will be trained on the hazards of tobacco use second and third hand tobacco smoke.

These volunteers will visit public places and educational institutions to educate young people about the hazards of tobacco use and to garner support for the creation of a totally smoke-free society.

Director Tobacco Control MoNHSRC, Dr Samra Mazhar, gave a brief presentation on the Smoke Free Islamabad model.

“The WHO believes that if the present trend continues and enforcement of tobacco control laws through the Smoke-Free Cities initiative and implementation of point-of-sale advertisement ban on tobacco products is carried out across the country, Pakistan will lead the EMRO Region in achieving the target of smoking prevalence reduction by 30 percent by 2025.

 

Every significant department of the government and social sector is a stakeholder,” she said.

Deputy Director General-FDE Asif Iqbal Khan stated that the FDE will contribute to the cause of tobacco control through students to target the youth group for awareness and counselling.

Additional Deputy Commissioner Sheryar Arif Khan said that all these efforts are geared towards the prevention of cancers, cardiovascular and other Non-Communicable Diseases associated with tobacco use.

Deputy Commissioner Irfan Nawaz Memon and Health Expert Dr Minhaj-US- Siraj was also present on the occasion.

According to Global Burden of Disease’s study (2019) death toll caused by factors attributable to tobacco is 163,671.54 in Pakistan. Furthermore, 1200 Pakistani children between the ages of 6 to 15 start smoking daily which is alarming.

 

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