Founding Editor: Shafqat Munir   

Burning down youth to ‘butts of cigarettes’ 

10 Oktober 2011 08:22:27

Burning down youth to ‘butts of cigarettes’


1,200 children start smoking everyday; 36% male 9% female smoke;


15% university students, majority being male, smoke


According to United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Pakistanis make the highest number of smokers in South Asia.


The use of Tobacco is very common and the highest in the South East Asian Region. There are about 22 million smokers in the country and 55% of the households have at least one individual who smokes tobacco.


As a result Pakistan accounts for a sizeable proportion of the cigarettes consumed in South Asia. In Pakistan about 100,000 people die annually of tobacco-related diseases according to latest statistics of Coalition for Tobacco Control Pakistan.


The dangerous trends adopted by our youth to look trendy like ‘Shisha Smoking’ seems to grow in popularity. This fun-smoking is leading our youth to further deterioration and addiction towards chain-smoking which is hazardous for the future generations of our country.


Tobacco is the leading cause of avoidable illness and lung-related deaths in most of the countries. It causes different types of cancers as well as chronic lung diseases, such as emphysema, bronchitis and heart diseases.


Smoking causes many other types of cancer, including cancer of throat, mouth, nasal cavity, oesophagus, stomach, pancreas, kidney, bladder, and cervix, and acute myeloid leukaemia.


People who smoke are up to six times more likely to suffer a heart attack than non-smokers, and the risk increases with the number of cigarettes smoked. Smoking also causes most cases of chronic obstructive lung diseases.


According to World Health Organization (WHO) tobacco use is currently responsible for the death of one in ten adults worldwide (about 5 million deaths each year). Moreover, unless circumstances changes, within 25 years the annual death toll will double; millions more will prematurely develop tobacco-related illnesses that lead to chronic disability.


In Pakistan, it is estimated that the prevalence of tobacco smoking is 36% for males and 9% for females. Among young adults especially the university students in Pakistan, the prevalence of smoking is 15% with the majority being male smokers. Approximately 1,200 children start smoking everyday. This represents a huge impact not only in terms of economic costs but it is slowly depriving the country of a healthy workforce and increasing the burden of diseases on the already overburdened health sector.


The reason why young people start smoking is complex and multi-faceted. It includes a host of interacting biological, genetic, psychological, economic and social variables. Arguably the most modifiable determinants are social and environmental in nature, including exposure to smoking by parents, siblings and friends.


Parental smoking behaviours have been found to play a key role not only in youth initiation but also in the escalation of their smoking habits.


Some studies indicate that youth having at least one smoking parent are more likely to begin smoking themselves. Others have suggested that children with at least one smoking parent are significantly more likely to progress to higher levels of smoking, compared to children whose parents do not smoke.


The members of elite class are using it for fun and for luxury exposing the young generation to the menace quite early. They are taking it as a fashion and then they have to bear the brunt of the outcome. Smoking should completely be banned in public places which would definitely contribute a lot in eradicating the evil from our society.