KARACHI: Society For the Protection of the Rights of Child (SPARC) holds a Press Conference on Impact of tobacco smoking on children at local hotel of Karachi, to uplift awareness of working journalist & reports on tobacco with aim to work together to make Karachi smoke free city.
Kashif Mirza Campaign Leader who moderating press conference. presented the facts of tobacoo and law related Prohibition of Smoking and Protection of Non-smokers Health Ordinance, 2002” which includes measures to stop people from smoking on public, ban on access to tobacco products near educational institutes and restriction on sale of cigarettes to those who are under 18. But, he added, it has been reported that no complaint has been registered against the violators under this law.
He says the role of media and social issues, he says media is tool of change and in recent past media played strong role in bring positive change in society. Spoke on the smoking habits of youngsters; growing habits of smoking in Youngers is the initial step to get attracted for drugs. He highlighted the crucial role of anti-smoking campaign reducing the health risks in schools and colleges.
He added, 70 per cent people in Pakistan fall prey to second-hand smoke at indoor workplace which is equally damaging. He said that youth and women are the prime target of tobacco industry as findings from the Global Youth Tobacco Survey revealed that 13.3 per cent boys and 6.6% girls (aged 13-15 years) currently use tobacco. aid that estimates show that over 160,000 people die of tobacco-related diseases per year in Pakistan in addition, the second hand smoke takes a toll of around 40,000 annually. He further stated soon SPARC organize another session how tobacoo industry is affecting financially “The loss of revenues due to introduction of the third tier (low tobacco taxes) is Rs77.85 billion rupees from 2016 to 2019. Loss of revenues due to price adjustments is Rs75 billion from 2018 to 2019,”
Senior Lawyer Sarwaich Abbasi, sated We have been working with civil society to increase the taxes on tobacco products to condemn the smoking habits in youngsters. There are laws to control tobacco sales for minors to promote the healthy lifestyles. Reduce smoking result in better health and decrease the cost government on health e.g. He assure his support to enforcement of the law.
Haris Jadoon SPARC, share the project details and fact about Karachi. —— SPARC selected the area running from II talwar to zamzama and Clifton to Saba Avenue DHA as sample. This area has the highest foot fall as it has 04 mall, 02 universities, 02 hospitals, 03 government schools and colleges, this are also has many restaurants and cafes whereas it has 02 parks and focusing on three major objectives.
Shomaila Waheed Manager SPARC concluded the session with vote of thanks to participants & said the role of media I important of such issue. We like to hold more sessions with media on social issues & fact finding reports, to urge legislator and implementing institutions of govt to take appropriate actions.
The orientation participated by various working journalist, and reporters., Africa, Middle East, and Asia Pacific.