WEB DESK:Every year, about 100,000 Pakistanis die annually due to tobacco use, and the increasing usage particularly among the youth has become a major health risk.
According to the latest figures released by the Ministry of Health Services, Regulations and Coordination, about 22 to 25 million people in Pakistan are smokers and 55 percent of households contain at least one smoker.
Whereas, around 36 percent of adult males and nine percent of adult females are tobacco users, therefore the male to female ratio is 4:1 whereas the boy to girl tobacco use ratio is 2:1.
Annually, five million people get killed worldwide as a direct result of tobacco. In 2025, ten million people could die from this addiction worldwide whereas in the 20th century, tobacco epidemic killed 100 million people worldwide.
Tobacco killed one in 10 adults worldwide and if unchecked and uncontrolled during 21st century, it could kill one billion. The Ministry of National Health Services last year announced introduction of new larger size of Pictorial Health Warning (PHW) on cigarette packs. These warning covers 85 percent of cigarette pack on both the sides.
The measure made Pakistan only the third country in the world besides Thailand and India to have enhanced Pictorial Health Warning to 85 percent.
According to a research, a smoker looks at this picture at an average of 7,000 times in a year. Moreover, those who intend to initiate smoking are discouraged by the warning whereas it encourages those who intend to quit smoking.