Cigarette smoke still remains one of the most worrying challenges the world faces, in terms of public health. It’s the largest preventable risk factor for substantial noncommunicable diseases like cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular and chronic lung diseases, and contributes significantly to Pakistan’s rising healthcare costs while dealing blows to the nation’s economic productivity.
Around the world, one in ten people dies from cigarette smoking. It’s the single greatest preventable cause of death today that kills more than seven million people every year. Due to the nation’s growing population, low cigarette prices, and a lack of adequate awareness on the threat of cigarettes, more people continue to take up smoking in Pakistan every day.
Almost 24 million Pakistani adults are estimated to be cigarette consumers. This translates to a significant opportunity in terms of introducing safer alternatives that can lead to quitting altogether. By following in the footsteps of countries like Japan and the Philippines, Pakistan can also make significant progress in shifting from traditional cigarettes to less harmful alternatives that encourage quitting.