Karachi school-girls in the grip of smoking epidemic

June 2nd, 2010 - 6:06 pm ICT by ANI  

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Karachi, June 2 (ANI): Smoking among
Karachi school-girls is on the rise with 16 percent girls being smokers, a
recent research has revealed.

Prof Nadeem Rizvi, Head of Chest Diseases
Jinnah Postgraduate Medical (JPMC ) and President Pakistan Chest Society
conducted the research on girls’ smoking habits.

He said women and girls form a susceptible
target group for the tobacco industry as they perpetually need new users to
replace nearly half of the current users who die prematurely from
tobacco-induced diseases.

Rizvi demanded that all forms of direct or
indirect marketing of tobacco products must be banned.

How can we allow promotion of a product
which is responsible for 100,000 deaths annually in the country, he questioned.

He also highlighted the issue of the
doctor’s moral responsibility to educate the public so they can make better
health choices.

Rizvi drew attention to the harmful
effects of tobacco marketing that is targeted towards women and girls.

According to The News International, women are a major target of opportunity
for the tobacco industry, which needs to recruit new users to replace the
nearly half of current users who will die prematurely from tobacco-related
diseases.

He demanded that all forms of direct or indirect marketing of tobacco products
must be banned. How can we allow promotion of a product which is responsible
for 100,000 deaths annually in the country, questioned Prof Rizvi.

“Research shows that even a brief
three-minute advice by doctors on quitting smoking brings about significant
results. It was unfortunate,” Prof Javaid Khan official of National Alliance
for Tobacco Control and Head Section of Chest Diseases at AKUH said.

However, cigarette smoking is just the tip
of the iceberg as many other problems like shisha consumption and gutka chewing,
also plague Pakistan.

Prof Javaid Khan official of National Alliance for Tobacco Control and Head
Section of Chest Diseases at AKUH said that all doctors are morally bound to
educating the public on health related issues.

Khan said that over 50% of university
students in Karachi were found to consume tobacco in shisha form. An hour of
Shisha use was equivalent to smoking 100 cigarettes, he warned. (ANI)

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