The district administration of the Islamabad Capitol Territory has decided to fine smokers under the age of 18 years.
In a statement from the Deputy Commissioner Hamza Shafqaat, it was revealed that "We have started online registration of people across the city who smoke cigarettes", adding that "Anyone under the age of 18 years found smoking will now be fined and even arrested".
According to the Director of the Excise Department Bilal Azam, fines will range from 1000 to 100,000 rupees, and shopkeepers selling cigarettes illegally to underage people will be punished as well.
Azam added that “Vendors will not be allowed to open shops outside schools and colleges", and that any violators will be either fined or jailed.
This initiative is an extension of the “Islamabad model city project”, which aims to create awareness for the hazards of tobacco use in the general population.
The main objective of the project is strengthening tobacco control efforts through establishing coordination among district departments to plan, implement and monitor the Islamabad model city project.
In Pakistan, tobacco consumption leads to around 108,800 deaths each year, translating to nearly 298 deaths every day, according to the Pakistan Tobacco Control Cell.