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ANTH declared smoke-
free health facility

ISLAMABAD: Dr. Akbar Niazi Teaching Hospital has been declared as a Tobacco Smoke-Free Health Facility by the Ministry of National Health Services Regulation and Coordination, Government of Pakistan, in a plaque unveiling ceremony held at the hospital on November 22, 2021. Officials from ICT Administration, World Health Organization Pakistan and District Health Office Islamabad were present on this occasion.

The 2014 Global Adult Tobacco Survey found that approximately 24 million Pakistani adults use tobacco in any form. Tobacco is killing around 160,000 Pakistanis each year. Use of tobacco in different forms like cigarettes and sheesha smoking among young populations and females has been on the rise in the past few decades. Under these circumstances, Tobacco Smoke Free Capital initiative is taken up by the government as it is vital to protect Pakistanis from deadly diseases, such as cancer and cardiac issues.

Project Director Tobacco Control Dr. Minhaj us Siraj; Additional Deputy Commissioner Islamabad and Focal Person for Tobacco Control and other dignitaries were given the hospital tour. The visitors witnessed ANTH’s quality facilities and appreciated the excellent healing environment.

Yasir Khan Niazi, Managing Director of ANTH, thanked the Health Ministry for making the hospital part of the Smoke Free Capital project. He said that a healthy and smoke-free environment in healthcare setups is essential and added that Dr. Akbar Niazi Teaching Hospital is standing with the health ministry, ICT Administration, District Health Office and WHO for the success of this project through effective implementation.

Dr. Samra Mazhar thanked Dr. Akbar Niazi Teaching Hospital’s management for opting to be part of the Health Ministry’s Tobacco Smoke Free Capital project. She said that the ministry is determined to making Islamabad a completely smoke-free zone for its inhabitants and the cooperation of organizations like ANTH is valuable for achieving this goal.

Sheryar Arif Khan, Dr. Zaeem Zia; and Dr. Minhaj us Siraj also addressed the audience and expressed that keeping public areas, hospitals, educational institutions and public transport free of tobacco smoke is our collective responsibility, moral obligation and legal duty. While discussing the burden of tobacco use in his presentation, Dr. Minhaj us Siraj revealed the fact that Pakistan falls in the list of countries with a heavy burden of health problems caused due to the use of tobacco. (PR)