Pakistan is one of 146 countries that have ratified the global tobacco treaty.
By taking this measure the country is making a great step forward in protecting the health and lives of its citizens from the tobacco epidemic.
Many countries around the world are seeing an increase is disease and death related to tobacco smoking. Hopefully Pakistan’s example will be noted.
Formally known as the World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), the treaty aims to reverse the tobacco epidemic by changing the way tobacco corporations operate around the world.
“The evidence is clear.
There is no safe level of exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke,”
“Many countries have already taken action.
I urge all countries that have not yet done so to take this immediate and important step to protect the health of all by passing laws requiring all indoor workplaces and public places to be 100% smoke-free.”
~WHO Director-General, Dr Margaret Chan
For example, in China it is difficult to find restaurants or any out door public locations that ban smoking.
Other countries need to beware that secondhand smoke effects the health of everyone including animals, plants, infants, children, the elderly, and adults alike.
Anyone in the presence of secondhand smoke becomes a passive smoker.
Since the 1957 report suggested a link between smoking and lung cancer, the connection has been firmly established.
Lung cancer now kills 20,000 people every year and health experts predict that lifetime smokers have a fifty percent chance of dying of a smoking-related illness in middle-age.
It is also been established that tobacco smoking causes at least twenty-five different diseases including heart disease and strokes.
By 2020, the World Health Organization expects the worldwide death toll to reach ten million, causing 17.7% of all deaths in developed countries.
There are believed to be 1.1 billion smokers in the world, 800 million of them in developing countries.
Source: BBC News [27 June 2006]