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PM’s polio focal person to oversee tobacco control as well

National

May 15, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The Prime Minister’s Focal Person for Polio Eradication Babar Bin Ata has been entrusted with additional responsibilities as Focal Person on Tobacco Control.

Babar will assist the Special Assistant to the PM on National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Dr Zafar Mirza on all relevant matters related to tobacco control, with special emphasis on advocacy and communications, a notification issued by the PM’s Office here on Tuesday informs.

“Just had my maiden meeting with the Tobacco Control Cell of the Ministry of Health,” Babar tweeted in response. Announcing several immediate measures that he intends to implement on or before May 31, Babar has promised rotation of the pictorial health warning on cigarette packs, with the size of the warning being increased to 60 percent of the pack. At a time when the world is switching over to plain packaging of cigarettes, a more proactive approach is now warranted, rather than following conventional rotation of the pictorial warning and increasing its size.

Immediately after assuming additional charge, Babar has also declared the PM Office as 100 percent smoke-free, coupled with a ban on tobacco advertising—both outdoor and within shops. However, the test of the pudding lies in its tasting, so time alone will tell how efficiently these measures will actually be implemented.

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