RAWALPINDI: The Punjab government has imposed a complete ban on smoking at all government schools throughout the province.
The decision was taken at a conference of Rawalpindi district’s education officials, chaired by Provincial Minister for School Education Murad Raas on Monday.
A circular in this connection has also been issued to all school headmasters and other heads of educational institutions in the province.
According to the circular, a blanket ban on smoking will be imposed on students while teachers and non-teaching staff will also be barred from smoking in classrooms, offices and staff rooms during school hours.
A departmental action will be taken against violators, it added.
Despite measures taken in the past few years, the sale of cigarettes to minors and near educational institutions remained a worrying constant in the country, according to a study carried out by the Coalition for Tobacco Control – Pakistan in 2017.
It found that Punjab led the other three provinces for storing and selling cigarettes in the immediate vicinity of educational institutions and for selling cigarettes to minors by 43.8 per cent and 50 per cent respectively.
Balochistan was second with 25 per cent (near educational institutions) and 20 per cent (selling to minors), and Sindh was third with 18.8 per cent (near educational institutions) and 20 per cent (selling to minors) while Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa was last with 12.5 per cent (near educational institutions) and 10 per cent (selling to minors) respectively.