December 27, 2010 - Worldwide tobacco use kills at least 5 million people every year. World Health Organization warns that unless countries take drastic action, tobacco could kill about 8 million people every year by 2030, mostly in the developing countries. On average 273 Pakistanis die each day from smoking related diseases.
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Directly related news brief:
January 29, 2010 - Pakistan - over 273 people die daily of smoking related disease..
Many blame this, among other factors, on lack of public awareness, and lax anti-smoking regulations. With a spike in smoking amongst the youth, retailers in Pakistan continue to sell cigarettes illegally to under-age smokers.
The government has withdrawn the Statutory Rules and Orders (SRO) on designated smoking areas, totally banning smoking in any place of public work to protect the health of non-smokers. However, the law is being openly violated across Pakistan.
(Pakistan - More, on rollback of the Statutory Regulatory Order on Designated Smoking Areas..)
The leading tobacco companies in Pakistan have recently been aggressively marketing their products for the youth. The government's step to introduce pictorial health warnings to make people aware of the hazards of smoking back in May 2009, has been slow in its implementation. For now it seems, with or without health warnings, the prevalence of smoking is set to continue to rise in the coming years. (Pakistan - will soon increase size of graphic warnings on cigarette packs..)
Experts believe measures like increasing taxes on tobacco products and banning advertising don't address the root causes of the habit. Smoking levels naturally drop off when people become richer and better-educated.
Pakistan Tobacco Company has mobile doctor teams that provide health care in areas where there are no medical facilities. (Mobile doctors)
Reference: VIDEO - Pakistan among top S Asian countries in smoking, Addiel Sabir, Press TV, Islamabad, 12/23/2010.
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