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COMSATS University Islamabad designated a Tobacco Smoke Free Facility

PRESS RELEASE: Islamabad:   (Parliament Times)   A letter of intent was signed between COMSATS
University Islamabad (CUI) and Tobacco Smoke Free Capital Project of Ministry of
National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination (NHRSC) as part of a
national drive for making universities Smoke Free.
The Ceremony was graced by Dr. Nousheen Hamid, Parliamentary Secretary for
NHSRC, and Dr. Minhaj us Siraj, Deputy DG Health, while several senior faculty
members of CUI also participated in the ceremony.
Rector CUI, Prof. Dr. Raheel Qamar, in his opening address briefed the participants
about the early history of tobacco including its discovery by the people of
Mesoamerica, South America, Europe and the rest of the world. He also informed
about the addictive properties, the harmful effects of chemicals in the tobacco. Prof.
Dr. Raheel Qamar in his speech informed the august gathering about the
achievements and the steps taken by CUI to make all its 7 Campuses tobacco free.
The Rector said that this initiative of the government was in line with other steps like
planting of trees and reduction of Plastics, to make Pakistan’s environment healthy
for future generations. He remarked that like Sri Lanka, Pakistan also needs to
exponentially increase the price of cigarettes to discourage their use.
Dr Minhaj Us Siraj in his brief presentation informed that Pakistan is a tobacco
growing, developing country where one third of male adults use tobacco in any form
and over 166,000 die of tobacco related diseases every year. He informed that
Tobacco-use related burden of disease is of immense volume, in the country with
little or no implementation of local tobacco control laws. He emphasized that there is
a dire need to save our coming generations especially the youth from the detrimental
effects of tobacco use. He called for active citizen policing to enforce the
implementation of Cigarette related rules while appreciating the role of judiciary in
supporting the cause.
Dr. Nousheen Hamid shed light on preventive measures needed to be taken to
control tobacco and from its harmful effects keeping in view limited resources. She
emphasized on preventing youth from tobacco industries manipulations and
provision of alternative mechanisms of tobacco crops especially in the KPK. She
said that both Tobacco Smoke free Capital Project and CUI should jointly conduct
research on Tobacco Control related topics, to generate local data and mechanisms
to influence policy makers.
In her concluding remarks she said that as a nation we have to stay united for
controlling tobacco use, preventing our youth and children from the menace of
tobacco and thus making Pakistan a tobacco free Country.

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