The Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child organised an event titled “Independence from tobacco” to celebrate International Youth Day 2022.
The Speakers shed light on the importance of banning novel tobacco products and highlighted that these products are biggest threats for younger generations as tobacco industry is finding new ways of manipulating our youth. Studded with false advertisement and carcinogens (cancer causing chemicals), these products are presented as nicotine pouches, gums and lozenges.
Dr. Shazia Sobia Aslam Soomro, Parliamentary Secretary, Federal Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations & Coordination said Pakistan is lucky to have a majority of population in youth; 61 million of youngsters are an asset for our country and the government realizes that. We will not let any industry deliberately target our youth to put their future in jeopardy.
Mirza Nasir Ud Din Mashhood Ahmad, Special Secretary, Federal Ministry of NHSR&C expressed concerns that 1200 children beginning smoking daily and 170,000 people dying due to tobacco induced diseases every year.
Malik Imran Ahmed, Country Head, Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids , mentioned that in order to attract youth, tobacco industry is engaging youth icons such as famous musicians, actors and models for paid social media content.