Islamabad, 7 December 2018: The President of Pakistan Islamic Medical Association (PIMA)Prof. Muhammad Afzal Mian, has hailed the decision of the Govt. to impose a tax on tobacco, saying this will go a long way to curtail tobacco use and have positive effects on the nation’s health. He advised the Govt. to use tax from tobacco to improve the health of nation and called for practical steps to make the decision a reality.
He said, PIMA being a premium representative organization of doctors whole-heartedly appreciates any step which can improve the health of the nation and Govt tax on tobacco can definitely reduce the number of deaths due to cancer. He said strict legislation was also needed in this regard as despite a ban on smoking in public health facilities, colleges, parks and hospital, the rule was not being implemented. He called for a ban on sale of cigarettes in the vicinity of such areas areas.
He said use of gutka (tobacco-chewing) was also a leading cause of mouth cancer and lung cancer that are preventable. It also needed to be curtailed immediately considering the appalling fact that over one lakh people are dying from lung cancer in the country per year. He called for a ban on this form of chewing tobacco also saying points of sale were wide-spread in the country.
He said many countries in the world have already instituted such steps with good results in curtailing disease under the name of sin/tax hence the Govt. should take bold steps to ban tobacco and its products immediately.