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Wednesday October 27, 2021

Tobacco causes more deaths than Covid in Pakistan every year

June 01, 2021

LAHORE: The Cancer Surgeons Association has informed that there are more than 24 million tobacco users in Pakistan. Tobacco is responsible for more than 165,000 deaths in Pakistan every year (lot more than COVID-19 deaths). Each day 1200 children start smoking in Pakistan and this menace is spreading at alarming proportions.

“Tobacco is behind every third cancer which occurs in Pakistan,” said Prof Haroon Majid, President Surgical Oncology Society of Pakistan (SOS-PK), Prof MArshad Cheema, the founding President and Prof Farooq Afzal, while speaking at a press conference here in Lahore to create awareness of hazards of tobacco use in connection with May 31 observed worldwide as World No Tobacco Day every year.

Prof Arshad Cheema said that cancer deaths in 2010 solely attributed to tobacco numbered 1.5 million worldwide (every fifth cancer death). Smoking causes more than 16 cancer types including cancers of larynx, pharynx, esophagus, stomach.

Passive smoking (second hand smoke) harms the people around a smoker like children and spouse at home as well in public places like buses, restaurants and hospitals in our homeland. Although smoking is prohibited in all public places, the law is rarely enforced. Children born to women who smoke during pregnancy are at higher risk of congenital disorders, cancer, respiratory disease, and sudden death. Cleft lip/palate is 30 % more common in smoking mothers.