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Pakistan Monument, Lok Virsa declared smoke-free zones

Pakistan Monument, Lok Virsa declared smoke-free zones

ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) on Monday declared the Pakistan Monument and the Lok Virsa Complex ‘tobacco smoke-free zones’.

The decision will increase the number of public places in the capital where smoking is prohibited to 214.

At the monument, NHS Minister Aamer Mehmood Kiani said: “A healthy and smoke-free environment in public places, healthcare establishments, educational institutes and on public transport is our collective responsibility, legal obligation and moral duty.

“It will be protecting our next generation from ill health and indulging risky behaviour for which smoking cigarettes is the first step.”

Ministry’s decision brings number of no-smoking public places in capital to 214

While discussing the burden of tobacco use, the minister said Pakistan is among fifteen countries in the world with a heavy burden of tobacco-related ill health.

According to an official statement from the ministry, the 2014 Global Adult Tobacco Survey found that around 24 million Pakistani adults use tobacco in any form.

Tobacco prevalence among young people is 10.7pc, and tobacco kills around 160,000 Pakistanis each year, the ministry said.

It added that the ministry’s tobacco control cell is taking demand and supply reduction measures to reduce tobacco use in the country, including banning the sale of lose cigarettes, notifying 60pc pictorial health warnings on cigarette packs and banning shisha imports.

The minister said the government has begun the Tobacco Smoke Free Capital initiative to protect the population from deadly diseases, such as cancer.

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