Around 1,200 children start smoking every day in Pakistan, Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of National Health Services, Dr Nausheen Hamid, said on Thursday.
“The data we have has shown that children between ages of 6 and 12 are also among those children who start smoking every day,” Hamid said adding that more than 160,000 people died every year in Pakistan because of tobacco use.
“The tobacco industry tries to attract young generations to become users their customers,” she said.
As per reports, Pakistan has taken several steps to control tobacco use, including banning smoking in all places of public work or use, and on all public transport.
Laws in Pakistan also forbid the sale of smoked tobacco products within 50 meters of any school, university, or educational institution, as well as the sale of single cigarettes and small packets of cigarettes. Youth under the age of 18 are not allowed to but the tobacco products.
Many forms of tobacco advertising and promotion including advertising on TV, radio and print media are also banned.
According to data available on the Pakistani health ministry’s tobacco control cell, there are 23.9 million tobacco users in the country, of whom 15.6 million are smokers.
“5,000 Pakistanis are admitted to the hospitals every day due to tobacco,” the cell said, “and 39 percent of households are exposed daily to secondhand tobacco smoke.”