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Government declares first Ramazan as National Quit Day

National

April 15, 2021

Islamabad: The Ministry of National Health Services, in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO), Wednesday declared the 1st of Ramazan as National Quit Day as part of the overall campaign for this year’s World No Tobacco Day, which is being observed worldwide under the theme ‘Commit to Quit.’

“Over 160,000 Pakistanis die of tobacco-related diseases every year. The Ministry of National Health Services, in collaboration with WHO, declares Ramazan 1st as National Quit Day. Let’s join hands and pledge to quit the use of tobacco,” the PM’s Special Assistant on Health Dr. Faisal Sultan announced on twitter.

Tobacco kills 8 million people around the world each year. Over 1 million deaths attributable to tobacco use are caused by second-hand smoke exposure. Someone is dying of tobacco-related diseases every four seconds.

In Pakistan, an estimated 166,000 people die of tobacco-related diseases every year. Tobacco is deadly in any form and harms nearly every organ of the body. In a statement issued in connection with the government’s announcement, WHO Representative Dr. Palitha Mahipala said, “It is high time for the people of this great nation to encourage smokers in their homes, workplaces and communities to quit smoking. The holy month Ramazan is a real opportunity to quit.”

Dr Palitha said, tobacco is the most common risk of non-communicable diseases. He said, Pakistan has taken a number of steps like ban on sale of loose cigarettes, ban on points of sale, printing of large pictorial health warning on cigarette packs, raised tobacco taxation and now the National Quit Day.

Dr. Palitha said that if the current momentum continues, Pakistan will be the only country in the Eastern Mediterranean Region to achieve the target of reducing tobacco use by 30% by 2025. Warning against complacency, he said, “We need to do more and continue our joint endeavours to counter tobacco industry tactics to promote tobacco and tobacco novel products.”