WHEN it comes to youth, who are more than 50 per cent of our population, we see that the state is not as active as it should be to save the younger generation from tobacco.
Young people are becoming drug addicts and the death rate is rising owing to tobacco use. Heart conditions, lung diseases and many types of cancers are the outcome of smoking.
It is sad to see how we are silently watching our young generation suffering owing to smoking. Every year we see a price hike in cigarettes, but, on the other hand, we see our children buying cigarettes at cheaper prices.
Another dangerous thing is the tactics being used by local tobacco companies to lure our youth by offering gifts, free cigarettes and cash prizes.
The minimum price of a pack of 20 cigarettes is about Rs50. Then how are cheaper cigarettes being sold in the market? Where are the law enforcement agencies? Who is responsible for this?
The government should come up with strong action against the violators if we are really serious in protecting our youth. The price hike every year is merely the eyewash because the implementation of the laws is more important than making new laws.
Rana Rehan Ali
Published in Dawn, June 5th, 2019