31 May 2013 12:00
Each year May 31 is observed as World No Tobacco Day (WNTD), with the aim to spread awareness about the pitfalls of tobacco consumption. Tobacco use is one of the biggest public health threats the world has faced to date. May 31, 2013, Photo by Yasir Kazmi, Karachi, Pakistan.
Almost 2,500 people die in Pakistan daily due to consumption of tobacco and smoking. Many people suffer from asthma and bronchitis, in addition to the more severe cases of cancer and heart attacks.
Tobacco use is rising in Pakistan, with about 30.7 percent of men estimated to be smokers, Pakistan stands at the brink of a devastating health and economic disaster. The steep rise in the use of tobacco amongst youth, especially young girls and women, is depriving the country of a healthy workforce, while increasing the burden of disease on an already overburdened health sector.
The fact that approximately 1,200 children start smoking daily represents a huge health and economic disaster.
Individuals who smoke cigarettes are 12 times more likely to die from lung cancer, two to four times more likely to develop coronary heart disease, twice as likely to have a stroke, and 10 times more likely to die from chronic obstructive lung disease.
Although many people are aware of the health issues associated with smoking, they are unable to quit due to nicotine addiction. However, willpower and personal determination to break free from the addiction play the most crucial role.