Smoke Free Islamabad Model achieved a milestone through signing a letter of intent for Smoke Free Upcoming Generations on World No Tobacco Day
The ICT administration and the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination today (Monday) signed a letter of intent with the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE), which will work together to make next generations tobacco free.
Thousands of FDE students will be trained on the hazards of tobacco use second and third hand tobacco smoke.
This is one of the key activities being arranged in connection with World No-Tobacco Day (WNTD), which is observed worldwide on May 31 each year.
The Chief Commissioner Islamabad Amer Ali Ahmed, Deputy Commissioner Irfan Nawaz Memon, Additional Deputy Commissioner Sheryar Arif Khan, Dr. Samra Mazhar Director Tobacco Control MoNHSRC, Asif Iqbal Khan, DDG-FDE and Dr. Minhaj us Siraj, attended the ceremony, among others.
Major objectives of the LOI are; to develop Tobacco Smoke Free Generation; to make joint efforts to control, regulate and discourage tobacco use; to strengthen the Smoke Free Islamabad Model; awareness campaigns and compliance of tobacco control laws.
The need to engage FDE students and volunteers in awareness raising and other anti-tobacco implementation activities stems from the escalating rate of youth smoking.
These volunteers will visit public places and educational institutions to educate young people about the hazards of tobacco use and to garner support for the creation of a totally smoke-free society.
On this occasion ,Amer Ahmed Ali stated that the global tobacco epidemic kills nearly 8 million people globally ever year More than 7 million of these deaths are from direct tobacco use and around 1.2 million are due to non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke.
According to Global Burden of disease study (2019) death toll caused by factors attributable to tobacco in 163,671.54 in Pakistan.
Furthermore, 1200 Pakistani children between the ages of 6 to 15 starts smoking daily which is alarming.
He further said that we will continue to strive to raise awareness and promote a smoke free society by providing awareness against tobacco use and empower young people to engage in the fight against tobacco.
He called upon every citizen of Pakistan to contribute to this noble cause to safeguard the health and well being of our present and future generations
Dr Samra Mazhar, gave brief presentation on Smoke Free Islamabad model.
She said the WHO believes that if the present trend continues and enforcement of tobacco control laws through the Smoke-Free Cities initiative and implementation of point-of-sale advertisement ban on tobacco products is carried out across the country, Pakistan will lead the EMRO Region in achieving the target of smoking prevalence reduction by 30% by 2025. Every significant department of the government and social sector is a stakeholder,” she said.
This is another milestone to engage FDE.
Asif Iqbal Khan said that the FDE will contribute to the cause of tobacco control through students to target the youth group for awareness and counselling.
Sheryar Arif Khan said that all these efforts are geared towards the prevention of cancers, cardiovascular and other Non-Communicable Diseases associated with tobacco use.