ISLAMABAD: National Assembly Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri on Tuesday agreed that legislation was required to stop younger generation from smoking.

He was speaking at a seminar titled: “Tobacco Harms and Tobacco Industry Tactic” organised by Pakistan National Heart Association (PANAH) at a local hotel.

Mr Suri said that the younger generation started smoking as a fashion and there was a need to stop that unhealthy practice.

He said 170,000 deaths due to tobacco use was a cause of concern and “we should all be part of the PANAH awareness campaign so that diseases can be controlled”. He said: “We will consider the proposals of participants for the legislation.”

Medical Expert Prof Dr Shakeel Ahmad said that there were negative effects of tobacco on human health. He suggested taking collective steps to protect youth from hazards of tobacco.

Vice Chancellor Health Services Academy Dr Shehzad Ali Khan said the tobacco industry gave wrong statistics about illegal trade. “So that is why the tobacco tax could not be increased during the last three years,” he said.

Deputy Director Health Ministry Dr Samra Mazhar said that the government was seriously working on a policy to discourage tobacco use.

Chairperson National Commission on the Rights of the Child Afshan Tehseen Bajwa said that due to the propaganda of tobacco industry 1,200 school going children start smoking daily.

President of PANAH Major (retd) Masood-ur-Rehman Kayani said that the purpose of holding dialogue was to pave the way for legislation in the light of expert opinion. Such dialogues should be held in the future as well, so that the public can be made aware of the dangers of tobacco.

General Secretary and Director Operations PANAH Sanaullah Ghumman said tobacco killed millions of people every year and was a major cause of other deadly diseases including cancer.

“The tobacco industry, as always, justified the illicit trade. It is an attempt to stop the increase in tax. Increase in tobacco product prices will generate billions of rupees in the form of revenue, but will also reduce the burden of tobacco related diseases,” he said.

Published in Dawn, December 1st, 2021

Opinion

Editorial

Taking stock
Updated 14 Aug, 2022

Taking stock

There are numerous reasons behind our predicament, and many of our wounds are self-inflicted.
Medicine in short supply
14 Aug, 2022

Medicine in short supply

THAT rising import prices of pharmaceutical raw materials and increasing production costs of manufacturers have...
Police excesses
Updated 13 Aug, 2022

Police excesses

Crass thuggery and victimisation of ordinary citizens are unlikely to earn govt plaudits from any quarter.
Afghan cleric’s killing
13 Aug, 2022

Afghan cleric’s killing

THAT a suicide bomber belonging to the self-styled Islamic State group managed to target a senior Taliban cleric in...
No room for hockey
13 Aug, 2022

No room for hockey

THERE have been accusations and clarifications as the blame game rumbles on. Yet despite workers of the PTI ...
Militancy redux
Updated 12 Aug, 2022

Militancy redux

There is fear and confusion all around, and it is for the state to bring clarity to the situation.