Tobacco is responsible for approx 80,000 deaths annually in Pakistan directly or indirectly. It was major cause of lung cancer and heart diseases globally in addition to many other diseases attributed to smoking. This was disclosed by Professor Dr Zahid Masood in a seminar to mark the “No tobacco day” at The University of Faisalabad.
Dr Zahid Masood, Head Department of Community Medicine, UMDC said that according to State Bank report Pakistanis spent Rs. 250 billion on over 64 billion cigarettes in the financial year 2014. The number of young female smokers in Pakistan had jumped to 16.3% from 6% in recent years. According to a study conducted in Pakistan frequency of shisha smoking among students was 19.7%. Smoking Shisha for an hour was equivalent to smoking 100 cigarettes in the same time. In countries like Pakistan a single cigarette pack was cheaper than a loaf of bread. Consequently smoking was getting popular among youth due to its easy availability and affordability, he added. Referring to a study published in world known research journal he said that death rate among smokers in age group of 30 to 69 years was two to three times higher than who never smoked leading to reduction in their life span by ten years. According to a report released by Pakistan Pediatric Association, the smokers of the low socio-economic group spent 25% of their total household income on cigarettes. He further added.
Speaking on the occasion Dr Rafshan Sadiq, Head of Oncology at PINUM, Faisalabad said that lung cancer was one of most common cancers in males and had strong correlation with smoking. She also spoke about the harmful effects of smoking on fetus during pregnancy. Chief Guest of the seminar, Prof Dr Muhammad Saeed, Dean Faculty of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences, TUF said that there was dire need to educate people on harmful effects of smoking on individuals and their families. He appreciated the efforts of Government of Punjab to address the menace of shisha smoking. Earlier Prof Dr Abdul Haq Director ORIC expressed his views. Dr Uzma gave the overview and spoke on the theme of No tobacco day. A large number of students and faculty members attended the seminar.