World No-Tobacco Day: Call to declare smoking under 18 a criminal offence

LARKANA – The Larkana Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Radiotherapy (LINAR), affiliated with the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, organised a seminar on the occasion of World No-Tobacco Day which was addressed by social figures, including expert doctors, faculty members and attended by a large number of people here on Monday.

Addressing the ceremony, Director LINAR Dr Abdul Samad Sheikh said that millions of people in Pakistan are suffering from various types of cancer, the most common cause of which is smoking. Symptoms appear in patients after 45 years, with small and large cells separating in two cancers while smoking is the most common cause of cancer.

Dr Abdul Samad Sheikh said that nicotine in smoking cessation causes heart disease and increases blood pressure as well as causing permanent increase in blood pressure. He said merely writing on cigarette packs “Smoking is Injurious to Health” will not work anymore and the government will have to take foolproof measures to curb smoking in the country.

Dr Iram Naz said that unfortunately in Pakistan, the young population is rapidly becoming addicted to smoking and surprisingly there is an increase in the proportion of heart attacks. She said that unfortunately there is no more work done on the number of diseases in Pakistan for which the loss rate and the full statistics of the victims are not known even though the situation is very worrisome.

Dr Iram Naz and Dr Saeed Samejo said that the government should not only ban smoking for the children who are under the age of 18 but it should be made a criminal offence which must also be implemented, including the general use of tobacco while awareness about the harms of tobacco be made through massive advertising in print and electronic media.

They said that there should be a better system for collecting sickness statistics so that country experts can know in which region of the country the number of patients with any given disease at any given time is higher or lower which will enable the experts to prepare a solid comprehensive strategy keeping in view the available data. Dr Saeed Samejo, Dr Hafizullah, Dr Javeria Jatoi and others expressed their views in detail about the dangers of smoking at the moot.



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