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Islamabad

September 17, 2015

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MoU signed to launch campaign for tobacco-free higher education sector

MoU signed to launch campaign for tobacco-free higher education sector
Islamabad
The Higher Education Commission (HEC) on Wednesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) to launch a campaign for a tobacco-free higher education sector.
The MoU was signed after a seminar titled ‘Drugs and Tobacco Use: Trend, Impact and Control’, jointly organised by HEC and CADD here on Wednesday. HEC Executive Director Dr. G Raza Bhatti, and Tobacco-Smoke Free Islamabad, a Project of CA&DD, Project Manager Minhaj-us-Siraj.
Speaking during the seminar, HEC Chairman Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed declared HEC a smoke-free facility. He said that this is the first step towards encouragement of smoke-free universities and higher education sector. He said that those found smoking inside HEC premises will be fined and a task force will be established to implement this initiative.
Shedding light on importance of sports, he said that HEC has decided to hold annual sports in universities to promote a culture of healthy activities among the youth. He urged the youth to become socially responsible citizens.
Dr. Raza Bhatti emphasised upon the role of teachers in controlling use of tobacco and drugs. He underlined the hazards of passive smoking and said that it is imperative to increase awareness regarding hazards of smoking.
Minhaj-us-Siraj narrated the history of tobacco use and revealed its hazards to human health and damages to environment in addition to an overview of the concept of a ‘Smoke-free City’. He said that smoking causes blindness, peripheral vascular disease, gangrene and lung diseases in addition to various kinds of cancers.
“For every cigarette you smoke, you lose seven minutes of your life to illness caused by tobacco”, he said, adding that the chemical compounds in a cigarette smoke has killing impacts, while an estimated
number of chemical compounds in a cigarette smoke is 7,357. He also revealed the harms of passive smoking and said that there is no safe margin from second-hand tobacco smoke.
He also highlighted the hazards of tobacco items including naswar, gutka, hookah, beeri, cigar and sheesha. He said that it regrettable that 55 per cent of households have at least one individual smoker. He also disclosed facts about tobacco industry and how it impacts environment, humanity and economy.
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