Every year hundreds of people in Pakistan develop respiratory diseases due to passive smoking. According to a report, passive smoking or second-hand smoking causes 17,000 stillbirths in the country each year, and Lahore is no exception.
The situation aggravates with the winter season as smog brings the second-largest city of the country to a halt.
To control and curb this situation, district authorities have prepared a comprehensive plan to make Lahore a tobacco-smoke free city.
The plan includes placing a ban on smoking in public, followed by an aggressive anti-smoking campaign with the help of religious clerics and prayer leaders.
There will also be a campaign on media while pamphlets will be distributed among the public. Anti-smoking seminars will be held at educational institutions to discourage smoking among young students.
Moreover, the provincial government is also planning to ban the sale of cigarettes within a 50-meter radius of any educational institute and placing anti-smoking banners at every school and college.
The plan was discussed and agreed upon during a meeting of 17 key officers of federal and provincial departments. The meeting took place in the last week of October at the Deputy Commissioner’s office in Lahore.
As per details, officials of the Department of Health, Excise, Education, Schools, Lahore Transport Company, Mass Transit Authority, Parks and Horticulture Authority, and Federal Ministry of Health attended the meeting.
Each department was assigned a task and was directed to strictly follow the deadline set by the Federal Ministry of Health.
A special task force will be established to enforce the ban in public places, such as educational institutes, bus stops, markets, and parks.
The meeting also decided to re-enforce the Punjab Tobacco Vendor Act, 1958, to regularise the sale of tobacco in Lahore.
Moreover, the organizers, at the time of obtaining NOCs, will be required to submit an affidavit that their event will be a smoking-free zone.