The meeting titled “Pictorial health warnings and implementation of anti smoking laws” was organized by an NGO, The Network for consumer protection with media and civil society.
“Smoking kills 274 people every day in Pakistan” claimed Dr. Arif Azad, Executive coordinator of The Network. “Printing of pictorial health warnings on cigarette packs is a great achievement of anti-tobacco advocates”. But non-implementation of laws that bars sale of cigarettes to children under 18 and smoking in public places prevail due to feeble law implementation machinery.
Government has a critical role to play in implementing anti-tobacco laws. However according to official records, under the Prohibition of Smoking and Protection of Non-smokers Health Ordinance 2002, the Islamabad city police could book only 43 smokers for violating the ban.
Speaking on the occasion, President of National Press Club, Afzal Butt “Media has a strong role to play in implementation and monitoring of anti-tobacco law.”