Tobacco control: PANAH urges to enforce WHO FCTC agreement

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STAFF REPORT

RAWALPINDI

Pakistan National Heart Association (PANAH) Thursday urged World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) agreement in letter and spirit regarding tobacco control.

Addressing  a press conference here at a local hotel, the representative of PANAH  said the previous government had failed to enforce the WHO FCTC agreement as in 2017-18 budget it had reduced the prices of cigarettes which was violation of FCTC.

They said we had approached the federal ombudsman against the government decision who had  given a direction in this regard while the special committee of Senate after listening the view of PANAH had issued guidelines to implement the international treaty signed by 128 countries.

They informed the government had suffered a loss of Rs154 billion during last three years and presently around 5,000 people were admitted in the hospital and over three hundred died due to curse of smoking on daily basis.

They said smoking was the major source of  various diseases including heart, diabetes and high blood pressure and to control tobacco smoking, tax on cigarettes  must be increased as per FCTC agreement, they demanded.

Former Surgeon General of Pakistan Army Lt General Mustafa Kamal Akbar, Senior Cardiologist Maj Gen Muhammad Ashraf, Maj Gen Ashur Khan Abdul Qayyum Awan and others expressed their views in the press conference.