ISLAMABAD / RAWALPINDI: Health Ministry has issued a notification to print new Pictorial Health Warning (PHW) on cigarette packs. The size of new warning has been increased from 50 per cent to 60 per cent of the pack.
The PHW will be printed on both sides of cigarette packs manufactured in Pakistan. The warning will be implemented from June 1, 2019. The new warning depicts the disease “gangrene”, caused by smoking.
Speaking on the occasion, Federal Health Minister Aamer Mehmood Kiani said that Ministry of NHSRC is committed to reducing the prevalence of tobacco use in the country. As a signatory to Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), Pakistan will fulfill its international commitments by taking demand and supply reduction measures. The new warning will be effective at communicating risk and motivating behavioural changes, such as quitting or reducing cigarette consumption.
Tobacco use is a cause of death of around 160,100 Pakistanis every year. About 24 million adults currently use tobacco in any form in Pakistan. The youth of Pakistan are being targeted by the tobacco industry so that “replacement smokers” could be recruited. Tobacco Control Cell of the Ministry is taking demand and supply reduction measures to reduce the prevalence of tobacco use in the country.
In this regard, the Cell banned sale of loose cigarette sticks, banned import of tobacco and non-tobacco sheesha and related substances, banned tobacco advertisements in print, electronic and outdoor media, banned cigarette packs having less than 20 cigarettes, illegalised designated smoking areas, declared public places 100% smoke-free, raised awareness among masses, and built capacity of authorised persons to support enforcement.
CTP public service campaign
The City Traffic Police along with the Health Ministry has started a campaign in public service transport regarding the adverse effects of smoking.
During the campaign, the Chief Traffic Officer Muhammad Bin Ashraf glued stickers on public transport vehicles as well as distributed awareness literature among citizens.
Details disclose that the federal government has started a project titled, “Tambakhu Se Paak Hamaray Shehar (Our Tobacco Free Cities)” for the protection of the health of non-smokers.
The Project Director Dr Minhaj as Siraaj, Police Headquarters Rawalpindi DSP Traffic Iqbal Kazmi, Project Manager Muhammad Aftab along with officials from the education wing participated in the campaign in Rawalpindi.
Chief Traffic Officer Muhammad Bin Ashraf said that the awareness campaign would run for a month while the education wing of the traffic police would raise awareness among people about the adversary linked with smoking on different roads and bus stands.
The project director appreciated the services of traffic police and expressed that the responsible nations take protective measures to save their future generations from any destruction. One day we would achieve the target of a tobacco free nation, he added.
The spokesperson of the traffic police stated that tobacco usage was one of the major causes of different kinds of cancer including heart and lungs while it was also the cause of 300 nationwide deaths daily. He added that around 1,200 kids ranging from six years old to 15 years old use tobacco regularly.
He said that it was not only injurious for the user but it was also destructive for the people in the surroundings.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 30th, 2019.