ISLAMABAD,(Parliament Times): Working for a great cause to make Pakistan tobacco free, Chromatic has announced the launch of a consolidated web portal for all anti-tobacco campaign related information. This website serves as a collective portal having all relevant information about the campaign, its progress, research and policy regarding it. The website www.PakistanPact.com is as simple and as intuitive as possible to fully reflect not just Chromatic’s work, but also the ethos of anti-tobacco activism in the country. The website conveys latest, specific and helpful information to get better understanding of growing tobacco issues in the country. The platform is geared around more actionable information regarding tobacco control policies and the menace of smoking.
One of its kind; the website serves as a national portal and a go to place for any journalist, policy maker, or anyone who is looking for information on tobacco control. This will greatly help in consolidating every one’s effort in a single place which can be transparent and accessible for each and every citizen of the country. The website will also serve as national representation tool to help international community understand how seriously determined Pakistan and its people are for not only to have strengthened tobacco control in future but also to have effective policies ad strategies that can portray healthier image of Pakistan in the global sphere. Chief Executive Officer of Chromatic Mr. Shariq Khan, while speaking at the launch event of the website said that the platform represents first step towards a much more ambitious advocacy work around anti-tobacco initiatives and to promote Chromatic’s vision for revolutionizing digital technology to fight growing tobacco menace in the country. “Keeping in view of the increasing sale of tobacco and its effects on human health and social consequences, it was the need of the hour that an exclusive and consolidated portal must be lunched that not only gives authentic tobacco information but also gives an insight of the issue through researches, studies and creative content that is stimulating for the audiences, enriching and enlightening for other activist working on tobacco control, and ultimately giving an opportunity for policymakers to delve into and improve policies and law for better future of the country, ” Mr Shariq added. Representative of Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, Ms. Sophia Mansoori said according to research reports, the tobacco use in Pakistan has become lethal as everyday 1200 children (age between 12 to 15) start smoking which is disastrous sign for our youth. He further said the high cigarette prices and applying strict rules regarding its point of sale and display can help in discouraging use of tobacco in Pakistan. Former head of the Tobacco Control Cell Pakistan Dr. Ziauddin Islam said that the tobacco industry continues its attempts to obstruct effective measures, either through cultivating direct relationships with government officials or resorting to legal mechanisms to intimidate governments.
Dr. Zia said the government should also take concrete steps to thwart the influence of tobacco lobby over the officials, so that taxes on the product should be increased significantly. Meanwhile, during question and answer session media persons were explained about newly launched website in detail and their queries were answered about the understanding of tobacco industry tactics to influence the government for their monetary gains by misleading government into overestimating the share of illicit market, in order to evade legitimate taxes.