Government advised to ban tobacco products, raise prices of cigarettes to ‘save youth’

They suggested raising prices of cigarettes so children would be unable to buy it. It will also reduce the expenditure incurred by the government on health.

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Wife of Surgeon Lt. Gen Khawar Rehman advised the government to ban tobacco products to prevent the youth from being exposed to the harmful effects of tobacco use.

The woman was invited as chief guest at a women wing session on ‘Role of Women in Controlling the Epidemic of Tobacco and Drugs Use’ arranged by Pakistan National Heart Association (Panah).
The goal of the session was to spread awareness about the harmful effects of tobacco on health.

Mrs. Rehman said women could play a big role as mothers, sisters, daughters, and wives in the upbringing of a child.

President of Panah Retd. Maj Gen Masudur Rehman Kiani said more than 5,000 people were admitted in hospitals and 400 people died daily due to smoking, meaning one person died every three seconds.

DG Tobacco Control Cell Dr. Minhajus Siraj said that he will continue working to save people from the harmful effects of tobacco and make cities smoke-free zone.
Participants of the session asked the authorities to take steps for the prevention of smoking and make cigarettes inaccessible to people, especially young children.

They suggested raising prices of cigarettes so children would be unable to buy it. It will also reduce the expenditure incurred by the government on health.

While talking to a news outlet, Panah General Secretary Sanaullah Ghumman said after failing to convince the government and health departments, they decided to seek advice from the wife of Surgeon General of Pakistan for the government to ban tobacco products.

“In a recent visit to the US, Surgeon General Lt-Gen Khawar Rehman had suggested to the government to ban the tobacco products so that the youth of the country could be protected from hazards of tobacco,” Panah General Secretary Sanaullah Ghumman said.

“We have been requesting the President, parliamentarians, parliamentary committees, and government representatives to ban tobacco product but unfortunately no one took our demand seriously,” he added.

“After learning that the surgeon general has appealed to the government to ban tobacco, we have decided to contact his wife to get the same ban applied in our country too,”

According to Mr. Ghumman, over 1,200 children of 12 and 15 years of age became smokers every day in Pakistan. Due to the low tax rate, the government was unable to connect more revenue and expenditure on health has increased numerous times.

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