MULTAN: At least 1,000 teenagers start smoking in Pakistan daily and 30% of them die due to the complications caused by tobacco use.
Expressing his views on the eve of World No Tobacco Day (May 31), Nishtar Medical University (NMU) Pro Vice Chancellor Dr Ahmed Ijaz Masood said around 15% of Pakistan’s population was addicted to smoking, which also included 20% female population.
A survey conducted by the UNDP revealed that a Pakistani, on an average, smokes 620 cigarettes annually, while for an Indian smoker, the average is 119 cigarettes. A Sri Lankan smokes 329 cigarettes, while a Bangladeshi smokes 202 cigarettes on an average annually.
Dr Ijaz Masood, who is also the head of Cancer Department at NMU, said around 3.5 million people die of smoking annually, and this number may go up to 10 million people in the years to come. Quoting a study, he said six people die of smoking every minute in the world and by the end of 21st century one billion people will die of it.
Smoking is a major cause of heart ailments, cancer and premature deliveries, he said, adding that there was dire need to create awareness against it.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 31st, 2019.