Ban Nicotine addictive products to protect Pakistani Youth
Ban Nicotine addictive products to protect Pakistani Youth

As concerns continue to mount over the growing popularity and potential health risks associated with novel tobacco products, experts and health advocates are coming together to highlight the urgent need for comprehensive regulatory action to ban these products and protect public health. In a press release shared by Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (SPARC), health experts and activists called for immediate action to ban these products.

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Malik Imran Ahmed, Country head, Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids (CTFK) said that novel tobacco products, including flavored electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), heated tobacco devices, and nicotine pouches, have gained traction in recent years, particularly among youth and vulnerable populations. Despite claims of being safer alternatives to traditional tobacco products, mounting evidence suggests otherwise.

Imran further pointed out that numerous nations and regions have already taken proactive measures to combat this issue, implementing bans or restrictions on flavored e-cigarettes and other novel tobacco products. These steps are aimed at curbing youth initiation and mitigating potential health crises.

Dr. Ziauddin Islam, Former Technical Head of the Tobacco Control Cell at the Ministry of Health, emphasized that a troubling surge in the consumption of novel tobacco products, especially among young individuals, is evident. These products contain addictive nicotine and harmful substances with the potential for enduring health consequences. Dr. Zia stressed the importance of adopting a proactive approach and giving precedence to public health through a ban on these products.

Dr. Zia further underscored the profound concerns arising from these novel tobacco products. Research indicates that the appeal of e-cigarette flavors significantly influences the initiation of nicotine use among young people. Moreover, the long-term health effects of inhaling heated tobacco and vaporized nicotine remain insufficiently understood, posing the risk of severe respiratory and cardiovascular complications.

Khalil Ahmed Dogar, SPARC’s Program Manager, urged policymakers and regulatory bodies to institute comprehensive bans on novel tobacco products. Such actions would not only shield the health of present and future generations but also align with the global drive to alleviate the burden of tobacco-related ailments.

Khalil added that given the mounting evidence of potential harm stemming from novel tobacco products, it becomes imperative for governments, health institutions, and communities to collaboratively heighten awareness, educate the public, and champion robust policies that give precedence to public health.

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