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FAISALABAD: Call to ban smoking in public places

February 12, 2005

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FAISALABAD, Feb 11: Cardiac specialists and physicians have urged the government to ban the use of cigarettes at public places besides launching an awareness programme regarding precautionary measures about heart diseases.

Speaking at the first International Congress on Preventive Cardiology held here under the aegis of the Pakistan Cardiac Society and the Punjab Medical College on Friday, the heart specialists said the situation was deteriorating with every passing day due to increasing number of heart patients.

They said it was a stigma on the face of society that the publicity budget of cigarette companies was over and above the total budget of the World Health Organization.

Speakers, including World Heart Organization President Dr Sheharyar, Saarc Cardiac Society Chairman Dr Mansoor Ali, Prof Mohammad Sarwar, A.G. Rahman, Abdul Hafeez Chaudhry, Naeem Aslam, Jawed Iqbal, Saadat Ali Zaidi, Prof Sharif Chaudhry and Dr Sameena, said people would have to change their lifestyle and eating habits.

Federal Science and Technology Minister Chaudhry Naurez Shakoor said the government would try its best to implement ban on the use of cigarettes at public places.

He said the government was committed to provide health facilities to the people at their doorsteps. Funds had been allocated for the provision of modern facilities and setting up heart centres in the country, he said.