Speakers at different functions held in connection with upcoming World No Tobacco Day pointed out on Friday that 13,400 people died of diseases caused by tobacco across the world daily, asking the government to ensure strict implementation of laws regarding ban on smoking.

The Cancer Society of Multan (CSM) urged upon the government to ensure complete elimination of tobacco cultivation, saying 35 to45per cent cases of cancer take place because of tobacco usage across the country. The CSM also demanded the government complete ban on production, promotion and use of tobacco. 

Addressing a news conference here at Multan Press Club on Friday, CSM President Dr Abrar Ahmed Javed, oncologist Dr Ijaz Masud and others said that rallies and others events would be held on World No Tobacco Day to create awareness among masses on dangers of tobacco use. They said that tobacco posed serious threats to human life and health as it was the second major cause of death around the globe. It is one of the biggest public health threats and major risk factor for cancer, respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.

While giving a multimedia presentation to journalists over the dangers of tobacco use, the CSM president Prof Dr Abrar Ahmed Javed said 22 per cent people in the world up to 15 years of age used tobacco. The ratio has been increasing among women. He added that over 5.4 million deaths are reported across the globe yearly that would reach to 10 million by 2030. “At least six people die every minute while tobacco contributes 30 per cent deaths related to cancer. The smokers die 14 years earlier than others,” he added. He said that 100 million people were killed by tobacco in 20th century while one billion were likely to lose their lives in the 21 century because of diseases caused to them by tobacco.

Referring to Sheesha, he warned that its use became viral especially among male and female students. Citing examples, he told the journalists that almost 50pc students in Karachi University smoked Sheesha including 34pc male and 16pc female. At least 6.4pc medical students use smokeless tobacco.

He warned that the Sheesha smoking was much more dangerous than cigarettes as the smoke, even after passing through water, contained high levels of toxins, carbon monoxide, heavy metals and carcinogens.

Meanwhile, local health department organized a seminar in connection with World No Tobacco Day. Addressing the seminar, district coordinator of Tobacco Control Cell Tahir Khan, DHO Dr. Abdul Majeed Gill and Dr Shahid Hussain Magsi said that the motive behind organizing activities was to make public aware of destructive results of smoking. They added that a large number of precious human lives could be saved through strict implementation of laws prohibiting tobacco.