Loose cigarettes: Senate panel recommends ban

Standing committee on national health services calls for banning sheesha


APP December 07, 2016
An employee counts cigarettes before packing them in Sidoarjo, Indonesia's East Java province April 7, 2010. PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD: A Senate panel on Wednesday recommended a ban on the sale of loose cigarettes by issuing a statutory regulatory order.

The committee also made several recommendations regarding bans on tobacco items and use of sheesha.

During a meeting of the Senate’s Standing Committee on National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination on Wednesday, two bills related with sheesha and prohibition of smoking were discussed.

Chairing the meeting, Senator Mian Muhammad Ateeq Shaikh directed that strict steps should be taken at all levels to control open sheesha smoking and discourage smokers.

Besides sheesha, all other related types of smoking should also be completely banned, he said and asked for appropriate legislation in that regard. He appreciated the Punjab Governor for setting up task-force to stop sheesha in educational institutions.

Senator Nauman Wazir said vice chancellors of all universities of the federal capital should be invited to attend the next meeting of the committee for evolving a proper strategy to control sheesha smoking in universities.

The committee made several recommendations regarding ban on tobacco items in the country and use of sheesha smoking.

Earlier, the committee approved the report of its sub-committee on ‘The Prohibition of Smoking and Protection of Non-smokers Health (amendment) Bill, 2016’, introduced by Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed in the Senate on July 18.

It also discussed in detail ‘The Islamabad Prohibition of Sheesha Smoking Bill 2006’, introduced by Senator Azam Khan Swati, in the Senate during its sitting on September 26 and ‘The Prohibition of Smoking and Protection of Non-smokers Health (amendment) Bill, 2016’.

Officials of the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination informed the committee that according to law sheesha can be smoked in personal vehicles and homes.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 8th, 2016.

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