Director Tobacco Control, Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination (MoNHSRC) Dr. Samra Mazhar Tuesday said that the voluntary target of 30 percent reduction in tobacco use was likely to be achieved by Pakistan in year 2025.
Dr. Samra, while delivering a presentation during her visit to Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) here, said that MoNHSRC has taken numerous initiatives- particularly the smoke-free cities initiative- which have yielded positive results.
“Tobacco kills 438 Pakistani every day whereas around 5,000 Pakistanis were being admitted to hospitals every day because of tobacco use, she said and expressed concerns that 1200 Pakistani children between the ages of 6 and 15 years begin smoking every day which was very alarming and requires collective efforts along with intense awareness campaigns at all levels.”
Dr Samra appreciated commissioner Karachi for setting up a tobacco control desk at his office and constituting Karachi Implementation and Monitoring Committee and tobacco control cells at Karachi’s South and East districts. Eight major universities and organizations have signed Letter of Intent (LoI) for smoke free Karachi, she added.
Appreciating the support and cooperation extended by Karachi Chamber, Dr. Samra informed that KCCI, after collaborating with Ministry of Health and supporting tobacco smoking free cities project, has become 538th tobacco free facility.
She further advised KCCI to sign an MoU with Ministry of Health so that KCCI’s most effective platform could be utilized for raising awareness and promoting other initiatives with a view to create a smoking-free society.
She said that in order to make smoke free Karachi initiative successful, mega awareness campaigns have to be supported and the members of the business community must also be advised to follow tobacco control laws.
Earlier, President KCCI Muhammad Idrees expressed deep concerns over non-implementation of Section 8 and Section 9 of ‘Prohibition of Smoking & Protection of Non-Smokers’ Health Ordinance 2002’ wherein sale to minors under 18 years was prohibited and sale within 50 meters of teaching institutes was also forbidden.