ISLAMABAD-Health experts on Sunday stressed the need for educating society about the negative effects of tobacco use as e-cigarettes and nicotine pouches has a new rising trend among country youngsters which was becoming health catastrophe.

Liver specialist Dr Murtaza Kazmi urged the media celebrities to discourage these advertisements and raise awareness on harms of nicotine, e-cigarettes, smoking, and adverse impacts of tobacco products on youngsters’ mental health. Media platforms are the main key to support civil society awareness campaigns which would discourage the sales, promotion and advertisement of the emerging products to safe precious youth’s lives, he told.

 He lamented that tobacco industry has been using innovative tactics for youngsters to sell its products everywhere, adding that concerned authorities should impose an immediate ban on the new sale trends of nicotine pouches and protect the youth from the lung cancer.

An educationist from Quaid-i-Azam University Dr Marryum Anees said that nicotine pouches were now making their way into country, adding, e-cigarettes come in various designs ranging from cigarettes to pens and larger products like tank systems and personal vaporizers. E-cigarettes are attracting new generation in universities and cafes where youth are openly using these harmful products, she said, adding that the use of nicotine pouches is spreading even among younger children in primary schools, who are especially at risk of overdosing or developing an addiction. She demanded that nicotine pouches, which are available in shops without any restrictions should be banned.

Dr Murtaza Kazmi added that just like other tobacco products, nicotine pouches could be very addictive and could increase blood pressure, heart rate and leading to heart disease and stroke.

He added that according to Global Adult tobacco survey, 11.4 percent males and 3.7 percent females were addicted to nicotine, adding that there has been no policy or legislation to control and monitor the sales, promotion and advertisement of nicotine pouches which needs to address immediately.

They emphasized that the main target of these new harmful products was young girls and boys, adding that youngsters should also keep in mind that nicotine pouches are not like any other consumer products it is hazardous and it causes death and diseases.