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Committees on tobacco control formed in Punjab

By Our Correspondent
August 02, 2023

LAHORE:Punjab Minister for Primary and Secondary Healthcare Dr Jamal Nasir has said that the Punjab government has constituted implementation and monitoring committees at the provincial as well as divisional levels for enforcement of legislation with regard to tobacco control in the province.

The minister was talking to a visiting delegation from the Ministry of National Health, Islamabad, here, Tuesday. He said anti-smoking laws needed to be strictly enforced in Pakistan and the Punjab government was taking all necessary steps to ensure the implementation of laws related to smoking.

The minister said that the provincial implementation committee was headed by the Secretary Health Punjab while the divisional committees were to be headed by the respective divisional commissioners. These committees will work to make Punjab smoke-free under the ‘Tobacco Smoke-Free Cities Initiative’.

These committees will devise the strategies and action agenda for effective implementation of anti-smoking laws in Punjab. He observed that tobacco was the biggest silent killer in Pakistan. Apart from cancer, smoking causes heart disease, TB, stroke and other diseases. Tobacco use in various forms is also responsible for millions of deaths every year. More than 170,000 Pakistanis die every year due to smoking, he added. Speaking on the occasion, Kathy Wright, Global Enforcement Programme Manager of the Union International, an international NGO working to control tobacco consumption, who also accompanied the delegation, said that signboards were an effective tool for raising awareness about smoking laws.