Pakistan among top 10 tobacco consumers in world: Speakers

ISLAMABAD:Speakers at a sensitization session on Wednesday underlined the need of multisectoral tobacco control policy, to control mushrooming trend of tobacco use in Pakistan as the country falls among the top ten tobacco consumers in the world.

The capacity building among legislator, media and academia was imperative to control the consumption of tobacco, they said while speaking at the roundtable session “Tobacco Control – Preparing the Frontline Professionals” organized here by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) in collaboration with The Union for Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases.

“Globally over eight million people die due to tobacco use every year, and more than 110,000 deaths occurred in Pakistan alone as 24 million Pakistanis consume tobacco regularly which is directly responsible for more than 18 types of cancers, and scores of non-communicable diseases,” speakers said.

Highlighting the issues to control the use of tobacco in Pakistan, Dr Waseem Janjua, SDPI Research Fellow said that no policy exited in Pakistan to ban vaping and nicotine products.

“Weak political resolve, excessive industrial interference and influence in policy making, legislators and the government officials lacking information are also the major reason for the excessive use of tobacco products in Pakistan,” he added.

The session concluded with an interactive discussion and a note of thanks from The Union Country representative Khurram Hashmi.