There are currently 31 million smokers in Pakistan who are losing their lives daily due to tobacco-induced illnesses. This includes cancer, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and chronic lung diseases.
What you need to know:
It is crucial that the Tobacco Health Levy Bill, which has been awaiting approval since 2019, is passed without delay. The vision is to address significant loss of life and strain on healthcare resources.
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Dr. Ziauddin Islam, a former technical leader of the Health Ministry’s Tobacco Control Cell, was the one who disclosed this information. During a discussion in SPARC, he claimed that every day, over 1,200 Pakistani kids between the ages of six and fifteen begin smoking.
According to Malik Imran Ahmed, country director of the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, the economic cost of smoking is Rs615.07 billion in Pakistan. This makes up for 1.6% of Pakistan’s gross domestic product. He says tobacco products are cheap which is why they are accessible to children.
Why it matters:
Khalil noted that the impact of inflation, viral infections, and inadequate nutrition on Pakistani children in 2022 has become more severe. He says we can’t afford to endanger their health anymore.
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