Pakistan one of 15 largest users of tobacco in world: Report

Staff Reporter

Every hour, 12 Pakistanis die of heart attacks, largely due to smoking

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan National Heart Association (PANAH) Major General (retd) Masood-ur-Rehman Kayani said that despite being a developing country, Pakistan is one of the 15 countries in the world which use tobacco extensively. There are more deaths, one of the main reasons for which is smoking. The government should formulate an effective and comprehensive policy to make the younger generation aware of the harmful effects of smoking. On the occasion, Panah was accompanied by pulmonologist Dr. Wajid Ali, Panah President Major General (retd) Masood-ur-Rehman Kayani, Panah General Secretary Sanaullah Ghumman, Country Head Campaign For Tobacco Free Kids Malik Imran, Chief Executive Officer Human Development Foundation Col (retd) Azhar Saleem, Executive Director Child Rights Organization Sajjad Cheema, and a large number of journalists were present. The ceremony began with the recitation of the Holy Quran.Panah President Major General (retd) Masood-ur-Rehman Kayani while briefing about the Panah efforts ,he said that the performance of the Panah for the last 36 years does not need any introduction, our aim is to help in building a healthy society and to make the common man aware about heart diseases. Smoking is one of the major causes of heart disease, which is why the seminar was held today. We are working tirelessly to provide medical assistance to people suffering from heart disease, especially children, from white-clad families, without any personal interest. Dr. Wajid Ali, a Pulmonologist ,Chest and Intensive Care Specialist, highlighted the causes of heart and other congenital diseases due to tobacco. He said that It is a matter of concern that every 6 minutes a person dies of a heart attack due to smoking. It is a painful thing to have a heart attack every 2 minutes. Smoking causes various diseases including heart, mouth, lung, esophageal cancer, diabetes and stroke. 8 million worldwide annually, while more than 160,000 people die every year in Pakistan due to smoking, smoking causes many diseases including heart, mouth, lung, esophageal cancer, diabetes, stroke, chronovirus. Smoking has a higher risk of killing ten sinners than smoking, which also lowers the immune system. It is a matter of concern that no nation can develop without a healthy society. The government should formulate a policy to protect the people, especially the younger generation, from smoking. Panah General Secretary Sanaullah Ghman said that according to a World Bank Group 2019 report, higher tobacco taxes could help lower-income societies to reduce tobacco consumption or stop using tobacco altogether, which Because they will be able to transfer their money back to food, housing, education and health care. Sanaullah Ghman said, “Research from several countries, including the World Health Organization(WHO), has shown that raising taxes reduces tobacco consumption..” Country Head Campaign For Tobacco free Kids Malik Imran said that the Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan has allocated Rs 4.87 billion in the budget for the” Sehat Sahulat Program”, while Rs 143.3 billion has been spent on diseases caused by smoking. If the government asks for a surcharge of Rs 10 per pack of cigarettes, which has also been approved by the Cabinet. it will generate revenue of Rs 40 billion., which will not only reduce tobacco use, but also help in launching various projects such as health care. Col (retd) Azhar Saleem, chief executive officer of the Human Development Foundation, said that according to a study, low-income households spent 4.1 percent of their budget on cigarettes, while the economically affluent class spent 2.5 percent on smoking. It is clear that poor people, due to lack of knowledge, spend more money on smoking and push their families towards economic exploitation. Sajjad Cheema, Executive Director, Child Rights Organization, said that the implementation of tax policies on harmful products would help in improving attitudes and reducing costs. The younger generation in particular will be protected from the harmful effects of smoking. A question and answer session was held at the end of the seminar.