ISLAMABAD: The Association for Smoking Alternatives Pakistan (ASAP) has launched a campaign to convince one million Pakistanis to quit smoking.

Expressing grave concern over the increasing number of smokers in the country, a nation-wide drive has been launched to educate Pakistanis on the need to quit cigarettes.

“Almost all smokers today understand the risks associated with cigarettes but continue to use them until they fall prey to cardiovascular diseases, cancer or other diseases associated with cigarette use. It is the role of organisations and regulatory authorities to make people quit cigarettes, right now,” Abeer Mirza, founder and CEO of ASAP, told media on Monday.

Inspired by the UK government’s long running ‘Stoptober Campaign’ that focused on making smokers in the United Kingdom quit smoking during the month of October, the ASAP aims to replicate the learning and results of the campaign in Pakistan for the benefit of public health.

Mr Mirza said the campaign planned to use digital platforms to provide counselling and support to smokers that could help remove cigarettes from the lives of one million smokers.

He said a number of steps were taken by the government, however, cigarette use statistics over the past decade showed that the desired results had not been achieved.

The ASAP founder said fresh data revealed that despite a reduction in global smoking rates, the absolute number of smokers was still beyond one billion, with over 80 per cent found in low and middle income countries, owing to greater public health costs.

“In a country with over 15.6 million cigarette smokers, Pakistan is in dire need of innovative solutions to help curb the public health impact of cigarettes,” he said, adding that the campaign aims to create awareness of better solutions that had been successful in other countries like UK, Europe and Japan.

Published in Dawn, November 2nd, 2021

Opinion

Editorial

Blatant Islamophobia
Updated 30 Jan, 2023

Blatant Islamophobia

Muslim extremists and terrorist outfits are emboldened by hateful acts.
Modern slavery
30 Jan, 2023

Modern slavery

MODERN slavery is a wide-ranging term that can encompass a multitude of scenarios. Common to all of them, however, ...
Remarkable Sania
30 Jan, 2023

Remarkable Sania

BRINGING to a close a career in which she smashed stereotypes, Sania Mirza delivered almost the perfect ending in ...
Losing grip
Updated 29 Jan, 2023

Losing grip

The state and the government are responsible for providing Imran with the security he deserves as a former prime minister.
Telling silence
Updated 29 Jan, 2023

Telling silence

THE silence of the Sindh government over the recent exposé in this paper about Karachi’s water tanker mafia ...
Palestine escalation
29 Jan, 2023

Palestine escalation

THE fire of conflict once again threatens to envelop the land of Palestine, as the growing cycle of violence refuses...