Every year, 31st May is celebrated as “World’s No Tobacco Day”. According to the World Health Organization, tobacco use kills more than 7 million people around the globe each year, and it is predicted that this number will increase unless appropriate preventive measures are taken. It is also a pressing health issue in Pakistan, where 23.9 million adults are engaged in cigarette smoking.

We need to accentuate the fact that chemicals, like nicotine, tar, carbon monoxide, present in tobacco are responsible for posing serious threat to our health. Out of over 7,000 chemicals, 69 of them are carcinogenic; eventually leading to different types of cancer particularly lung cancer. Apart from provoking deleterious effects on lungs it may lead to heart disease, TB, stroke, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and other health problems.

It is not just about smokers but tobacco smoke is also injurious to passive smokers. Considering health hazards of smoking, Nagasaki University, Japan, has stopped hiring of faculty members who smoke; likewise in Pakistan, Punjab Food Authority is also taking strict initiatives against tobacco, betel nut etc. In this regard, The Punjab Food Authority (PFA) has directed restaurants to immediately close all smoking corners on the premises of restaurants.

Furthermore, due to labelling regimes chewing tobacco and betel nut are also restricted. It is valiant initiative taken by Punjab Food Authority that should be endorsed and further actions should be planned by government to cope up with this alarming situation.

SHAZA SAQIB,

Lahore, May 30.