Civil society calls for tobacco tackling reforms in KP

PESHAWAR   -   Blue Veins, in partnership with the Provincial Alliance for Sustainable Tobacco Con­trol in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), urgently calls for comprehensive policy reforms to address the press­ing issue of tobacco control in the province. These reforms aim to regulate new nicotine and tobacco products, particularly Smokeless Tobacco Products (SLTs), while strengthening existing legislation to re­duce smoking prevalence and associated health risks.

Tobacco use poses a critical public health challenge in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, impacting individuals and communities profoundly. Qamar Naseem, Program Manager at Blue Veins, highlights the escalating con­cern of tobacco consumption among youth, empha­sizing the immediate need for policy and legislative reform to safeguard community health.

The adoption and enforcement of robust tobacco control laws are essential to combat the tobacco ep­idemic, which claims over 163,600 lives annually in Pakistan. Approximately 16.0 percent of male deaths and 4.9 percent of female deaths are linked to tobac­co use, illustrating its significant impact on mortal­ity rates.

Aligning with global efforts, the call for comprehen­sive tobacco control legislation in Khyber Pakhtunkh­wa mirrors the World Health Organization Frame­work Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC). Imran Takkar, an advocate of child rights, stresses the collective responsibility to protect youth from tobac­co’s harmful effects and advocates for comprehensive policy reforms to safeguard community health.

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