KARACHI: Health experts expressed concern over the rise in tobacco-related deaths and diseases.

Speaking at a seminar arranged by Express media group and Novartis, the experts insisted on an action to control the menace and cited medical experts, stating that ‘chronic obstructive pulmonary disease’ (COPD) is a the fourth leading cause of death.

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“One person dies due to tobacco consumption after every five seconds. In 2016, a total of 3 million people died due to COPD which makes up six per cent of total international deaths while this disease is expected to become the third largest cause of death by the year 2020,” health expert Professor Syed Zafaryab Hussain stated.

He said smoking claimed more lives than terrorism, with 171,000 deaths caused by COPD.

Speaking to Express News, he explained, “The carbon monoxide from cigarette enters the blood and eliminates oxygen in the body while nicotine causes breathing difficulty and affects the brain.”

Responding to a question he claimed that despite a number of laws being passed in Pakistan rarely any of them have been implemented. He claimed doctors ought to counsel patients to quit.

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Another health expert Dr Faisal Fayyaz Zuberi claimed that passive smoking could be like smoking 200 cigarettes. He contended that smoking greatly increases the risk of disease.

“At first it was assumed that more men suffered from COPD but now the average of this disease is almost the same in women,” he added.