Stringent action assured against restaurants and hotels violating anti-smoking law


Additional Commissioner of Karachi, Abdul Wahab Soomro Wednesday assured all concerned citizens, including members of medical community, that international chain of restaurants as well as other joints, violating ban on all forms of tobacco smoking at public places would be brought to task without any distinction.
Speaking at a seminar organized by Pakistan chest society and department of chest medicine, Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Centre, he referred to absolute commitment of the Sindh government towards implementation of the law.
“To ensure implementation of the Prohibition on Smoking Ordinance 2009 the provincial government also imposes, at regular interval, section 124 so as to protect people against the serious to their health,” said the additional commissioner of Karachi. He said the resources at the disposal of Karachi administration have and will be used to ensure implementation of the law and would appreciate information about any violation of the law anywhere within its jurisdiction.
Soomro also urged the medical community to play their role in educating the people in general, and users of tobacco in particular, about the hazards of the products itself as well as that of its bi-products available in form of gutka, pan masala, sweetened beetle nuts, pan puri etc.
He took strong exception to the fact referred to by senior pulmonologist, Prof Javaid A Khan that news channels have out-rightly refused to show pictures of the victims of tobacco, including smokers and users of gutka etc.
These pictures were cited by the channel authorities to be too heinous for public consumption and could had affected their viewer-ship. The additional commissioner of Karachi assured that channel owners would be approached by the city administration and convinced to bean for at-least one minute in every two to three hours these pictures so as to sensitize smokers and also those exposed to passive smoking about the dreadful consequences.
“This would be a public service that every channel must undertake as part of their corporate social responsibility,” said Abdul Wahab Soomro. The message has to be clear that no one is safe lest there are smokers around us be they cigarette smokers or the shisha smokers, hukka smokers or bidi smokers, he said.
The additional commissioner said the campaign against bi-products of tobacco will also be made fool proof. “We need public support against gutka mafia and all those playing havoc with precious public lives,” he said.