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    Wednesday, May 31, 2017

    More than 555,000 children continue to use tobacco each day- Alarming news

    The Coalition for Tobacco Control Pakistan (CTC-Pak) has organized 77 activities to celebrate World No Tobacco Day this year with the support of its partners in 70 districts covering all four provinces of Pakistan. The major activities included displaying 72 banners in front of district government offices, six press conferences at Quetta, Sukkur, Karachi, Peshawar, Multan and Faisalabad, a nationwide essay and art competition, an open letter to the Prime Minister and 200 streamers displayed at the federal capital (Blue Area Road), Islamabad (in collaboration with Capital Administration Development & Division). The partners also organized a demonstration in front of Islamabad Press Club at the federal capital on Tuesday, May 30, 2017.

    “Give priority to health over business, save our children from tobacco! Implement 85% Pictorial Health Warning Immediately” This is the call of the partners of CTC-Pak on the World No Tobacco Day. While the world is going for stricter tobacco control policies, the people of Pakistan are still waiting for the government to fulfill its two years old commitment to implement 85% enhanced Pictorial Health Warning (PHW) on cigarette packs announced back in January 2015.

    “The PHW cautious the smokers and others around him about the health hazards from tobacco use. But unfortunately the decision for larger warning on cigarette packs in public health interest is not implemented so far. We demand the government to implement the PHW decision immediately to protect our youth and children from tobacco.” Said Khurram Hashmi, the National Coordinator of CTC-Pak. “More than 555,000 children continue to use tobacco each day. Youth is considered as future of nation. If there is no youth that means the future is at stake.” He said.

    Around the world, proven measures to reduce tobacco use have greatly reduced the health and economic costs associated with tobacco. These measures include increased tobacco taxes, large pictorial warning labels on tobacco products, restrictions on tobacco advertising and bans on smoking in indoor public places.  These measures are called for by the world’s first public health treaty, the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), which obligates its 180 parties to implement these proven policies to reduce tobacco use.

    “Pakistan ratified the FCTC and became a party in 2004. The existing PHW were implemented in 2010 which were supposed to be rotatory every year. After five years in 2015, the government took a huge step to protect the youth of Pakistan by enhancing the warning size from 40% to 85%. Tobacco industry always target new smoker which is youth and productive force of the nation. There is grave need to inform our coming generation how the industry is playing with their lives.” The National Coordinator CTC-Pak emphasized.” The tobacco industry’s deep pockets, skilled lobbying and clever marketing campaigns targeting youth and children remain the greatest obstacle to progress in addressing the devastating global toll of tobacco use.”


    “We are also concern on the new budget proposal regarding taxes on tobacco as we understand the new proposals will make the cigarette more cheaply available to the youth particularly. This year the World Health Organization (WHO) is calling on countries around the world to prioritize tobacco control and combat the tobacco epidemic in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. However in Pakistan the situation is reversed in the recent budget.” said M. Atta Qureshi, President FARZ Association, a CTC-Pak partner from Rawalpindi.
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    Item Reviewed: More than 555,000 children continue to use tobacco each day- Alarming news Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Abdul Sattar Qamar