Wednesday October 27, 2021

Tobacco use

May 19, 2021

A few days back, Prime Minister Imran Khan declined an invitation for attending a webinar which was being held by an international tobacco company. His decision shows the government’s commitment towards controlling tobacco use in the country. Many health experts believe that had the PM attended the webinar, it would have sent a wrong message to the international community as his attendance would have been a violation of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control ( FCTC). Also, the government has to do a lot more to discourage people from smoking. In our country, getting a pack of 20 cigarettes – even for an underage boy or girl – is not much difficult. This should be a major concern for the authorities concerned. Many shopkeepers also display a casual attitude and don’t ask customers to show their CNICs before selling a packet of cigarettes. The government should instruct all shopkeepers not to sell cigarettes to minors. Cigarette packets shouldn’t be kept on display in shops. Those who violate these instructions should be fined heavily.

If the government keeps a proper check on the sale of cigarettes, the problem of underage smoking can be resolved to a large extent.

Shahzad Lodhi