The Rawalpindi Deputy Commissioner (DC) Muhammad Ali has ordered to make the tourist city of Murree a no-smoking zone. He announced the decision while chairing a meeting of the District Tobacco Control Implementation Committee.
He has insisted to take immediate steps to ensure that Murree becomes a no-smoking zone and remains free from tobacco use as the tourist destination receives visitors from all over the country and it will help set an example for a smoke-free Pakistan.
The DC added that all other tehsils of Rawalpindi will also follow the example, making the district the first one in Pakistan to become completely tobacco smoke-free.
It is pertinent to mention that under the Tobacco Smoke-Free Cities of Pakistan Project, the orders have been issued to install ‘No Smoking’ signs outside all schools and colleges in Rawalpindi. The same will be implemented across government offices, healthcare centers, hotels, restaurants, cafeterias, courts, conference halls, public transport, stadiums, recreational places, and more.
Furthermore, those found in violation will have to face legal proceedings.
It bears mentioning that the Ministry of National Health Services Regulations and Coordination Director Tobacco Control Dr Samra Mazhar has stated that more than 150,000 people die from adverse effects of smoking tobacco every year. She added that taking the right steps will prevent similar deaths in the future.
Additional Deputy Commissioner and Tobacco Control Implementation Committee Rawalpindi Cell Head Qasim Ijaz addressed the meeting, saying that the district administration will work with the Government of Pakistan to establish ‘Quit Smoking Clinics’ to help those wanting to give up the habit.
These clinics will be set-up at the District Headquarters (DHQ) Hospital and the Holy Family Hospital.