Wednesday, 19 June 2024, 05:39:10 am

PM calls for united effort to eradicate tobacco use from society
May 31, 2024

(File Photo)

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has urged civil society, professional associations, non-governmental organizations, and the media to collaborate in national efforts for eliminating the menace of tobacco consumption from the society.

In his message on the World No Tobacco Day, he said this year's theme "Protecting Children From Tobacco Industry Interference" focuses on safeguarding our future generations by ensuring that tobacco use continues to decline. He said World No Tobacco Day serves as a powerful reminder of the collective effort to combat the pervasive and devastating impact of tobacco use on public health.

The Prime Minister said it is important to note that tobacco not only impacts the individuals who consume it but also has detrimental effects on the well-being of those in close proximity.

He added that Pakistan is amongst the fifteen countries of the world, having a heavy burden of tobacco-related ill health and faces a double burden of disease primarily cancers, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases.

Shehbaz Sharif further said the government has taken stringent measures to curb tobacco use which includes placing large-sized pictorial health warnings on tobacco packages, banning the sale of loose cigarettes, banning point-of-sale displays and increasing tobacco taxation.

However to completely eliminate from Pakistan, both production and consumption of tobacco must be reduced. He said we have raised taxation on cigarettes to about 150 percent to discourage the use of tobacco.

Moreover, all forms of tobacco advertising and promotion are prohibited, including advertising on national TV, radio, print media, billboards, point of sale advertising and product display. Restrictions are also in place on sponsorship of cigarette companies and the publicity of such sponsorship.

The Prime Minister expressed the confidence that by firmly rejecting tobacco, we can establish the groundwork for a healthier and more prosperous Pakistan. He called for joint efforts to say "No to Tobacco" and work together for building a tobacco-free Pakistan.