ISLAMABAD: While 22 million people in Pakistan smoke, e-cigarette has become a new addition for lung cancer as companies have found a new way and mean to attract adults and youth.

This was stated by Director General Health Services Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) Dr Hassan Orooj while speaking at a seminar, ‘Tobacco prevention and vaccination as part of health city programme’.

He said secondhand smoke which pollutes people who do not smoke but are exposed to smokers or environment is equally, rather more, dangerous.

According to a statement released on Sunday, Dr Orooj spoke about tobacco’s cancer-causing effects for mouth, tongue, lungs, stomach, reproductive system, heart and stroke.

“The deleterious effect of sheesha is hundred times more than cigarette. E-cigarette has been a new addition for lung cancer. Cigarette companies find new ways and means to attract adults and youth,” he said.

Dr Orooj said the aim of the seminar series was to build more links with communities and translate policies into actions at the grassroots level.

One of the core issues on the sale of tobacco is less taxation on tobacco/cigarettes. So he flagged the issue for consideration by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and the prime minister to raise as many taxes as possible.

Director Health Services Dr Iqbal Afridi said there was a need to develop public private partnership for the Expanded Programme of Immunisation (RPI).

Additional Director DHS Dr Shahnaz Khalid said there was a need to reach every child to get 100pc coverage of vaccination.

Project Director Tobacco Control of Ministry of National Health Services Dr Samra Mazhar stressed the importance of awareness and counselling of the public through partnership.

Published in Dawn, February 28th, 2022

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