Chairman Board of Management, Institute of Public Health (IPH), Lt-Gen (Retd) Khalid Maqbool and other speakers at a seminar have said that the use of tobacco in any form is a big threat to human health.
They emphasised the need for launching a campaign against tobacco use among people, especially youth, to save them from injurious effects of tobacco.
Khalid Maqbool said that the Institute of Public Health could play a pivotal role in policy making for such preventive campaigns.
The seminar was organised by the IPH Lahore in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO) at the auditorium.
WHO’s Country Head Mahi Pala shared the WHO guidelines on preventive measures against tobacco use. He stressed lifestyle modifications, health promotion activities and the need for stronger implementation of legislative orders for prevention of smoking.
Former Vice Chancellor University of Health Sciences Dr Mahmood Shaukat stressed the need for developing innovative and attractive campaigns for the young smokers to quit smoking. He said that tobacco industry generated a big revenue and despite heavy taxes, the number of smokers had not been decreased. He emphasised the importance of research to develop effective strategies.
Director Policy & Strategic Planning Unit (PSPU) Dr Shagufta Zareen highlighted the importance of good quality data for formulation of effective policies. She said that school children in public sector could play an important part in the campaign to exert social pressure on smokers in family to prevent the young ones from becoming second-hand or a third-hand smokers.
The use of sheesha by the youth is also becoming a threat, which was leading to cancers. The WHO representative, Shahzad, stressed the need for effective measures at the government level.
Dean IPH Prof Dr Zarfishan, while addressing the seminar, said that smoking and chewing tobacco was a major cause of lungs and mouth cancer, asthma, respiratory diseases and cardiac problems, etc. She said that the IPH platform would be effectively used for launching result-oriented awareness campaigns against the use of tobacco.