Islamabad: The rise of misleading campaigns designed to attract individuals towards tobacco use globally and in Pakistan particularly is a cause for concern. In Pakistan, in 2020 alone 163,600 people died due to tobacco use. Anti-smoking and anti-tobacco consumption messages about the harmful effects of tobacco products have been effective in curbing tobacco consumption.
According to SFW (Foundation for Smoking Free World), there are 18 million tobacco users in Pakistan, making it the 11th largest consumer market for tobacco globally.
Furthermore according to SFW, “in 2020, it was estimated that tobacco use accounted for more than 163,600 deaths, or 10.9% of all deaths in the country. In 2019, it was estimated that 59.9% of total tracheal, bronchus, and lung cancer deaths to tobacco and 43.7% of total lip and oral cavity cancer was attributed to tobacco use. In 2019, the total cost of all smoking-attributable diseases and deaths amounted to an estimated USD 3.85 billion.”
Keeping these frightening statistics in mind, there is an immediate need to stop the open promotion and advertisement of tobacco use in the country. There is a need to continue the struggle to end tobacco use which is only possible with the help of authorities in the country.
In this regard, a seminar was organized in collaboration with Vital Strategies on the topic of the role of practical wisdom in ending tobacco use among the new generation, under the auspices of the Policy Department for Sustainable Development.
The increasing popularity of modern tobacco products is worrisome, as the promotion of non-traditional tobacco products through social media poses an open challenge to government agencies and non-governmental organizations, requiring immediate and stringent action.