Smoking is injurious to health.” This is a phrase we have all heard of, and that’s exactly what it has become for us now. Just another phrase, another old saying. Despite of many anti-smoking awareness programs, it is a saddening fact that 1 out of every 5 Pakistanis has consumed 100 cigarettes in his lifetime. Our teenagers are highly affected by this curse. Even though, it is illegal to sell cigarette to minors, our retailers keep doing so openly and our government remains silent.

Our youth is to be blamed on this matter as they have perceived smoking as a ‘Fashion Statement’. Smoking is an entrance ticket to the ‘Cool Group’. Being a university student myself, more than half of my class mates smoke occasionally, be it a girl or a guy, and they seem to be proud of it.

According to the Pakistan Demographic Health Survey, 46 percent men and 5.7 percent women smoke tobacco. Smoking kills 100,000 people annually in Pakistan, and this figure is ascending up the graph each passing year. Strict actions must be taken against this evil by our government before it takes up any more of our precious lives.

MAHA RAIS,Karachi, April 27.