Pakistan - implementation of tobacco control laws difficult..

Pakistan: Coat-of-Arms:

December 20, 2009 - ISLAMABAD - Many public offices and departments have no proper mechanism to implement tobacco control laws and to check its violation during duty hours. Citizens complained that due to this smokers openly use cigarettes which is clear violation of concerned laws that resulted harmful effects on non-smokers. They said according to concerned laws all public and work places have become smoke free therefore smokers should not be allowed smoking or using tobacco in their offices or public places, they demanded.

They said complete implementation of law will help protecting the health of non-smokers and make the smokers abiders [abide by] the concerned laws.

The government withdrawing Statutory Regulatory Order (SRO) on designated smoking areas had totally banned smoking in any place of public work to protect the health of non-smokers. (Pakistan - More, on rollback of the Statutory Regulatory Order on Designated Smoking Areas..)

It is pertinent to mention here that earlier, all public and private offices were allowed to designate a separate place for smokers to smoke within office premises with adequate arrangements to protect the health of non-smokers.

However, such permission was being misused as it had become practice that smokers were using places in offices other than designated areas while many offices had failed to allocate designated places for smokers.

The government has already declared some places of public work as no tobacco use places included hospitals, dispensaries, and other health care establishments, educational institutions, offices, conference rooms, all domestic flights, restaurants, buses, wagons, trains, indoor stadiums, gymnasiums, lounges of airports, waiting rooms at railway stations and waiting rooms at bus stations.

When contacted an official of Tobacco Control Cell, Ministry of Health said that SRO withdrawal will help cell to have strictly check on law violators with the help of public and concerned departments.

He said a five year strategic plan of action has been formed by the cell with focus on awareness programme for health officials, professionals, teachers, decision makers, administrative staffs etc..

Reference: Implementation of tobacco laws in public departments urged, Associated Press of Pakistan, 12/18/2009.

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