‘World No Tobacco Day’ today
Lahore: “World No Tobacco Day” will be observed in Pakistan today (Saturday) to highlight health hazards associated with smoking. The theme this year is “Tobacco-Free Films and Tobacco-Free Fashion Action”.
Several government and non-governmental organisations will organise awareness programmes at national and local levels to mark the day.
Diseases most commonly associated with cigarette smoking and use of tobacco were lung cancer, bronchitis and emphysema, ischemic heart diseases, cancer of the lip, tongue, mouth, larynx, pharynx, esophagus and bladder. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has focused on addressing the issue of tobacco control at the global level for the last half decade.
The day also provides the opportunity to step up information dissemination relating to the hazards of tobacco.
The basic aims to mark this day are to increase awareness about the global healthcare problem and to communicate progress being made to control the diseases. According to a survey, more than 20 million people smoke or use tobacco in various forms. Many people do not know the dangers and hazards of smoking while glamorous advertisements by tobacco companies recruit more people to smoking.
Pakistan has been actively coordinating activities to observe “World No Tobacco Day”. Several initiatives have been underway in this direction including tobacco free initiative, global treaty on the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and commemoration of World No Tobacco Day on May 31 every year. In Pakistan, the private sector along with government sector has been actively participating in this connection.
Health experts on the occasion asked for efforts to make Pakistan a tobacco free country, which needed practical steps both by government and community participation.
They lauded the media’s role against the use of tobacco, which was a major cause of increasing cancers, heart diseases, diabetes and respiratory infections.
According to them, the epidemic also had an impact on the economy due to health care costs and the fact that it caused premature deaths and diseases during the productive years of life. —APP