Friday October 22, 2021

De-lightful news

September 22, 2021

A multinational company has announced to launch smoke-free products in Pakistan. This development should be taken in a positive light. The problem of smoking is only getting worse in Pakistan, despite a number of measures taken over the last two decades. Public Health England, in 2015, claimed that e-cigarettes were 95 percent safer than ordinary cigarettes. In 2016, the Royal College of Physicians confirmed that the health risks of long-term vaping were “unlikely to exceed 5 percent of the harm from smoking tobacco”.

Already in upscale localities in Pakistan’s major cities, one can witness outlets of vaping. Although imported legally, there is a regulatory vacuum around the use of e-cigarettes. The plans to introduce smoke-free products in Pakistan can be a game changer, but for a significant reduction in the number of smokers, Pakistan needs a sensible regulatory framework. Instead of rejecting smoke-free products or simply dumping them into the market, the government and relevant organisations working for tobacco control should carefully look at the pros and cons and decide how these products can be a part of the tobacco control efforts in Pakistan.

Hamza Azhar