Ban on online ads, sale of tobacco products stressed to save youth

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Society for the Protection of the Rights of Child (SPARC) here on Friday organized an interactive session on “social media’s influence on sale and advertisement of modern tobacco products” to reach out to social media influencers to expose the tactics of tobacco industry’s deceptive social media campaigns.

Malik Imran Ahmed, Country Head Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (CTFK) said that according to statistical data, about 1200 children initiated smoking each day in Pakistan.

Tobacco industry is utilizing social media to promote their innovative products and manipulate children and adolescents into buying these harmful products.

Children are being attracted by tobacco industry’s tricks because of newly introduced ways of advertisement and involvement of celebrities, he said and added that the responsibility to ban advertisement and sale of all kinds of new tobacco products to children to save their future was falling on the government.Dr. Zia Uddin Islam, Country Lead, Vital Strategies shared that the ratio of young smokers in Pakistan was only increasing due to the absence of check and balance on online advertisements and sale of innovative tobacco products.

Industry has given children easy access to these dangerously addictive new tobacco products everywhere in the country. Only possible way to erase tobacco popularity among children is to ban all sorts of sale to children and advertisements especially on social media, he told.

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