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Wednesday October 27, 2021

Firdous for protecting youths from smoking

June 01, 2021

LAHORE:A webinar “Commit to quit” was held at the Government College University (GCU) Lahore on Monday in connection with the World No-Tobacco Day.

Special Assistant to Chief Minister (SACM) Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan was the chief guest at the webinar organsied by the GCU’s Anti-Narcotics Society and Disease Awareness and Prevention Society. GCU Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Asghar Zaidi hosted the webinar while students and teachers attended it online via Zoom.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said smoking or use of tobacco in any form was a serious threat to human health; it causes cancer, lungs diseases, heart attack and diabetes in early ages. She said increasing trend of smoking amongst the younger generation was a matter of serious concern and it was the collective social responsibility of the media, educational institutions, government and parents to come forward to check the unhealthy activities.

In reply to questions by students, Dr Firdous said there was a complete ban on telecasting smoking or use of taboo scenes in dramas and films, but there was a need to ensure effective check on this ban by the censor board and other government institutions. In reply to another question, she admitted that tobacco having health costs was also one biggest source of revenue for the government. However, she said the government needs to focus on exporting tobacco.

Prof Zaidi said GCU was empowering the youth by giving them the right to ask i.e. the right to question teachers, experts and public representatives about their actions, social issues, government policies and initiatives at such webinars and events.

He told students that the World Health Organisation (WHO) regional office had announced the World No Tobacco Day 2021 Award for Pakistan which was the result of the government’s effective anti-tobacco policies.

The VC spoke about different initiatives taken to make the GCU a drug-free and no-smoking campus, saying “the University was strictly screening and monitoring cafeteria staff and hawkers outside the campus, besides engaging students in surveillance of “suspicious activities”.