The administration of Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) on Wednesday raided smuggled tobacco sale points at Super Market and confiscated illicit cigarettes from the shops.
Deputy Commissioner, Hamza Shafqaat spearheaded the Excise Department’s Inspection team for conducting raids at tobacco outlets of the Super Market, said a press release.
On the occasion, he said although the whole district management and law enforcement agencies were focused to ensure peace during Muharram ul Harram, yet the administration had started campaign to check sale of illicit tobacco, sale near educational institutes and enforcement of all tobacco control laws in the country.
The DC was accompanied by Additional Deputy Commissioner (Gen) Dr Asif Raheem, who is the focal person on tobacco control and public health in the district administration.
Director Excise, ICT Sajid Bilal and his enforcement team checked sale of smuggled tobacco goods and licensing status of vendors was also verified, as the sale of tobacco products in ICT was subject to vendor’s license, through the excise department.
Sajid Bilal was of the view that licensing of tobacco vendors had proved to be a very effective tool in controlling unlawful sale of cigarettes. “This protects our kids from harmful effects of smoking and uneventful loss of life due to cancers and heart diseases,” he added.
The excise team issued warnings to the shop-keepers and asked them to get their licenses issued or renewed within one week.
Team member of drive, Deputy Director General (Health) Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Dr Minhaj us Siraj, who also heads the Tobacco Control Cell at the Ministry and Tobacco Smoke Free Cities’ project, cherished the allegiance of district administration towards the cause of protecting lives.
He said the health department considers preventive measures its priority, adding Islamabad Smoke-free City model was declared as best practice in preventing non-smokers’ health by Tobacco Control Secretariat of World Health Organisation, this year.
Dr Minhaj said, “We are committed to purge our society and cities of substances harmful to the population. Tobacco use kills 160,000 Pakistanis every year and hundreds of underage kids start smoking every day.”