Health activists urge Federal Cabinet to ban Harmful Heated Tobacco Products to protect our children
Islamabad: Society for Protection of the Rights of the Child (SPARC) urge all the stakeholders to play their role in protecting Pakistani Youth from harmful innovative tobacco products. Health activists raised alarm on the recent attempts by tobacco industry to get the heated tobacco products regularized. The activists mentioned that the potential harms of innovative products such as nicotine pouches, e-cigarettes and heated tobacco devices, must be recognized and their sales and promotion must be banned.
Dr. Ziauddin Islam, Country Lead Vital Strategies, mentioned that contrary to tobacco industry’s claims, innovative products are harmful as they contain nicotine which serves as a gateway to many other forms of substance abuse and may cause serious health and mental health issues among youth. These products are claimed as cessation products but in fact, are new forms of addiction. The research claiming that they’re less harmful than cigarettes are all funded by tobacco industry. The independent research has warned about their harms. He appealed the Cabinet not to approve any move asking to legitimize novel products.
Malik Imran Ahmed, Country head, Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, due to the fact that Heated Tobacco Products use tobacco and their emissions have same negative impact on health as cigarettes, more and more countries are banning their sales. However, in Pakistan the tobacco industry is using www.greenapplecleaningmd.com various deceptive tactics to get these products regularized. The tobacco industry has already mislead the government by claiming that e-cigarettes and nicotine pouches are less harmful and only for smokers who want to quit. However these products are openly promoted online and sold to young and new consumers. If heated tobacco products are allowed, the country will witness same deception as before because the industry needs new consumers to maintain its profits.
Khalil Ahmed Dogar, Program Manager, SPARC, mentioned that due to cheap and easy affordability nearly 1200 children begin smoking every day in Pakistan. We can’t afford any more getting addicted to these new products. Khalil requested government recognize this situation as a child rights emergency as it will directly hurt their health, education and future development. It is responsibility of policymakers to ensure that no anti-child policy is implemented in the country. Pakistani children and youth have suffered various health issues in last few years. It is golden opportunity for our policymakers to reject HTPs and give message to our young generation that they will be protected from all harms.
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