PETITION TO RAISE GHW TO 85% ON CIGARETTE PACKS IN PAKISTAN TO RANK THIRD
In an effort to ensure compliance of tobacco control laws in best public interest, we, supporting TheNetwork for Consumer Protection appeal to the Honorable Prime Minister, to enforce two years old decision of raising Graphical Health Warning to 85% on cigarette packs. We highly acknowledge and appreciate PMs Heroic decision which was then announced by Minister for National Health Services, Ms. Saira Afzal Tarar on February 11, 2015 in an effort to protect youth of Pakistan from the menace of tobacco, which is the single most leading cause of premature deaths. Pakistan is just a friction away to take a leap step in a leading role in implementing 85% of GHW for the welfare of society and achieve an international ranking of 3rd from 106th .
Knowing that in Pakistan nearly 110,000 deaths are attributed, each year, to diseases caused by tobacco. Around 1,200 children initiate smoking daily and with every passing day the burden of tobacco epidemic is escalating. The incidence of lung and oral cancers are also on rise. The healthcare cost incurred due to cancers and other tobacco related diseases is manifold and exceeds revenues generated from tobacco industry.
Adoption of 85% pictorial health warning will surely go a long way in strengthening tobacco control efforts in Pakistan and will prevent our people from deaths and diseases. In Pakistan, 77.5% smokers currently notice Graphical Health warning on cigarette packages and 29.7% think of quitting because of warning labels. An increase warning size will surely have more impact. We as health professionals owe to promote health of people in our country and by enforcing then decision Pakistan will discourage tobacco industry from spreading this epidemic.