In a bid to regulate passive smoking, district authorities have written a comprehensive plan to turn Lahore into a tobacco-smoke free city.
The plan, that seeks to ban smoking in all public areas, including parks, wedding halls and public transport, can ask for the help of the Ministry of religious Affairs to direct ulama and prayer leaders to discourage smoking in weekday sermons. Additionally thereto, the sale of cigarettes at intervals 50 metre radius of any academic institute also will be prohibited and anti-smoking banners are effectively placed on the gates of schools and college campuses across the city.
According to the details and documents obtained by The express tribune, the aforementioned set up was discussed in presence of 17 key officers of federal and provincial departments at a gathering command at the Deputy Commissioner’s office in Lahore. Minutes of the meeting were issued on October 24 and every one departments party to the meeting, together with the Department of Health, Department of Excise, Department of Education, school Department, Lahore Transport Company, Mass Transit Authority, Parks and horticulture Authority and Federal Ministry of Health, were issued strict deadlines to execute the tasks allotted to them.
The ‘tobacco-smoke free city’ set up additionally involves forming a special task force to enforce the ban publically places, together with traveler and recreational spots. A Tobacco management Cell also will be started within the office of Deputy Commissioner Lahore, in collaboration with the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination (NHSRC)
Other than limiting the sale of tobacco and establishing smoke free zones, the meeting additionally suggested the re-enforcement of the Punjab Tobacco seller Act, 1958, to regularise the sale of tobacco within the city. according to details of the meeting, organisers are needed to submit an affidavit whereas taking NOCs for hosting events in public areas including halls and marquees, to make sure that the event are free from smoking.
Furthermore, district administration also will offer anti-smoking pamphlets and handbills at mosques and ask for the help of the provincial health department to line up clinics and ‘quit-smoking’ support centres across town, to help addicts recover from tobacco addiction. In addition to that, educational institutions will also be advised to conduct anti-smoking seminars in collaboration with the affiliated Education and higher Education Commission, to discourage students from smoking.