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ISLAMABAD: Every year, all over the world, World No Tobacco Day was celebrated on May 31. Pakistan National Heart Association (PANAH) on Monday organized World No Tobacco Day; tobacco is a major cause of many diseases besides heart disease. At 5 pm, a walk was held from Liaquat Bagh to Rawalpindi Press Club, led by Dr Abdul Qayyum Awan, Senior Vice President of PANAH, Ghulam Abbasi, Vice President, Sana Ullah Ghumman, General Secretary and senior members of PANAH. Participated in the event along with student's wing, political, social, legal, educational, business, minority circles and many other peoples. This year, the theme of "Quit tobacco to be a winner" was chosen on World No Tobacco Day.

Addressing the participants on the occasion, Sana Ullah Ghumman, General Secretary of PANAH said that in 1987, WHO member states launched "World No Tobacco Day". The aim was to draw global attention to tobacco and related untimely deaths and diseases. The World Health Organization adopted a resolution on April 7, 1988, as "World No Tobacco Day." Following the adoption of the resolution, May 31 is World No Tobacco Day.

Walk participants said that 30 million 15-year-old adults in Pakistan use tobacco, which causes a number of diseases, including heart disease, cancer, premature death and other deadly diseases. Tobacco consumption faces an economic, health and health burden of Rs615 billion per year. The tobacco industry paid a total of Rs120 billion in taxes in 2019, which was only 20% of the total cost of smoking.

The ratio of Federal Excise Duty (FED) on tobacco has not increased for the past five years, and the FBR authorities need to formulate a comprehensive strategy for collecting taxes from the tobacco industry so that the future of the country's 60 percent young population is saved from being jeopardized.

Sana Ullah Ghumman, General Secretary and Director Operations, Pakistan National Heart Association (PANAH), said that the implementation of tobacco practice would significantly reduce the prevalence of smoking among adults and significantly increase revenue, which would help the government in completing development projects.-PR

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021