On 10 March 2017, the Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) requested all provincial governments to play a proactive role in discouraging tobacco use and urging for strict implementation of tobacco control laws. A notification was issued to all chief ministries in September 2016, whereby, the Ministry notified that violations of tobacco control laws had been observed across the country and all provincial governments must ensure strict compliance with existing tobacco control laws. For example, the Chief Ministers were advised to ensure that tobacco-products were not sold within 50 meters of educational institutions, to ensure prohibition of sale of tobacco products to people under 18 and, to have no smoking signs in all public places, among others. Police officers were encouraged and authorised to take action against all violators. Additionally, the Chief Ministers were asked to issue necessary directives to relevant authorities to ensure strict compliance with existing tobacco control laws.
Ensuring that tobacco laws are implemented will contribute to reducing the tobacco burden of approximately 108,800 deaths annually in Pakistan, of which 298 of those deaths occur daily. The WHO FCTC congratulates Pakistan for their inspiring action and commends them for strengthening enforcement on tobacco control laws, as it is a requirement for effective implementation. The Convention Secretariat will continue to support them in strengthening and enforcing their implementation.
More information is available from the following media clippings:
Details can further be provided by Muhammad Javed, Project Manager of the Tobacco Control Cell, Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination at firstname.lastname@example.org.