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Smoking in Pakistan: Tobacco swallows about 100,000 lives annually

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KARACHI: Smoking is causing a serious threat to the tobacco users from the last many decades. It kills nearly six million people a year all over the world out of which 100,000 people died in Pakistan. It is also reported that more than 600,000 people died due to passive smoking.

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The statistics shows that about 40% males and 9% females are smoker in Pakistan and the number is increasing with each day passing.

Chairperson National Alliance for Tobacco Control (NATC) Prof Javaid Khan said that tobacco products such as cigarettes, water-pipe tobacco and other tobacco are being smuggled from across borders. He said that this trade is more prominent in low-income and middle-income countries such as Pakistan.

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Dr Ali Bin Sarwar Zubairi, a consultant chest physician said that the only way any country can gradually reduce smoking and other use of tobacco within its borders is to establish a well-funded tobacco prevention programme that employs a variety of effective approaches. He demanded a ban on tobacco advertising and sponsorship in Pakistan.

Dr Talha Shahzad, AKU chest consultant physician said that 50 % smokers die prematurely- 14 years earlier than non-smokers.

Prof Khan said that government’s revenue of Rs.75 million generated from the tobacco industry is negated by the Rs.100 billion in public funds spent on treating smoking-related diseases every year.

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