95pc Pakistanis believe switching to alternatives could help quit cigarettes: Survey

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Zubair Qureshi

Around 86 per cent Pakistani smokers who wanted to quit cigarettes were not successful despite repeated attempts, reveals an opinion survey conducted in the federal capital.

According to the findings of the survey, 95pc of these Pakistanis, however, said that switching over to alternatives allowed and helped them quit the harmful habit of smoking.

At a ceremony held in Islamabad, while sharing the details of the survey with media, Founder and CEO of The Association for Smoking Alternatives Pakistan (ASAP), Mirza M Abeer, said he believed the best option for smokers to quit were safer alternatives such as e-cigarettes or heated tobacco products.

The survey was commissioned by the ASAP and conducted by Foresight Research with over 600 smokers and users of alternatives to help understand consumer perceptions about cigarette alternatives.

The research was a component of ASAP’s anti-smoking campaign launched in early November to get 1 million Pakistanis to quit cigarettes.

“This would help a lot in reducing the number of smokers in the country,” he remarked
The survey asked the participants about the reasons for quitting and all of them highlighted that better health is one of the primary reasons for switching away from cigarettes, and 98 percent of the participants believed their health has improved as a result of switching.

The survey also covered the government’s role, where 82 percent of participants believed the harm caused by cigarette smoking is a public health crisis in Pakistan, and 80 percent believed the use of alternatives to cigarette smoking can help reduce the number of smokers in the country.

About 89 percent of the participants were of the view that in order to help quit smoking, alternatives to cigarettes should be readily available to smokers in Pakistan.

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