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Manan Mandokhail:

QUETTA: Dr. Sheerin Khan, President of the Pakistan Chest Society Center, has highlighted the grave impact of smoking in Pakistan, revealing that 1.2 million deaths occur annually due to smoking-related causes. Speaking at a press conference held at the Quetta Press Club on Saturday, Dr. Khan emphasized that over 69% of the chemicals in cigarettes are carcinogenic.

Dr. Khan was accompanied by notable medical professionals, including Dr. Maqbool Langove, Dr. Nasir Azim, Dr. Mahmoud Shahwani, Dr. Waheed Shah, and Dr. Zia. He stressed the detrimental effects of smoking on children’s health, particularly when parents smoke. “Children exposed to secondhand smoke suffer from asthma, pneumonia, and other diseases, and the risks increase, leading to conditions such as paralysis,” Dr. Khan noted.

Citing statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Khan pointed out that more than 8 million people globally die each year due to smoking, with 7 million succumbing directly to smoking and 1.2 million deaths attributed to secondhand smoke exposure. “Nicotine, a component found in tobacco, affects mood and creates a temporary sensation of energy, but its effects quickly wear off, leaving individuals feeling tired and restless,” he explained.

Dr. Khan also discussed the broader health impacts of smoking, including a weakened immune system, yellowing of the skin, hair loss, poor eyesight, and other diseases. “In Pakistan alone, the treatment of smoking-related diseases costs more than one and a half billion rupees annually. These funds could instead be directed towards the country’s construction and development,” he said.

He called for a united effort from all stakeholders to combat the smoking epidemic and reduce its devastating effects on public health. “We must work together to address this issue and protect future generations from the harmful consequences of smoking,” Dr. Khan urged.

The press conference underscored the urgent need for increased awareness and stronger anti-smoking measures to mitigate the health crisis caused by tobacco use in Pakistan.

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Quetta Voice is an English Daily covering all unfolding political, economic and social issues relating to Balochistan, Pakistan's largest province in terms of area. QV's main focus is on stories related to education, promotion of quality education and publishing reports about out of school children in the province. QV has also a vigilant eye on health, climate change and other key sectors.