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School Children’s can be inspired from the teachers and staff smoking inside the school: SPARC Survey

Field Manager Naeem Ahmed shared the findings of Research conducted by SPARC in the different areas of Multan……..

Multan: : Sh.Faisal: Naeem Ahmad (Field Manager, SPARC) along with Khurum Shahzad (Media Coordinator, SPARC) address to Journalists in a Press Conference arranged by SPARC. They shared the findings of Research conducted by SPARC in the different areas of Multan district.

This study was carried out to understand the dynamics of tobacco sales and usage of tobacco in the vicinity of schools and colleges, public transport and restaurant. For this purpose, researchers carried out field observations and inspected number of venues at and around schools, colleges, restaurants, local transport stands and a survey with tobacco vendors.

Educational institutes are the places where student are susceptible to social influences to use cigarettes. Young children can be inspired from the teachers and staff smoking inside the school. Availability and sales of cigarettes in the surroundings of schools provides easy access to the students.

Children can easily buy cigarettes and become potential customers of Tobacco Industry. However, researchers have recorded Smoking butts at schools. This indicates that teachers, staff and students can smoke inside the school.

The researchers have noted that at 24 local Bus Stands, people were smoking and cigarette butts were scattered everywhere. During the inspection people were smoking in passenger waiting areas, toilets, hallways and shopping areas which does not Have ventilation or exhaust system. Those places were fully crowded and people smoking at those areas were not only endangering their own lives but were also causing harms to the health of non‐smokers including minors and females.

Under this survey, a total of 180 tobacco local vendors were Interviewed in district Multan to analyze the violations and provisions of this act. There were 169 retail sellers and 11 wholesale dealers participated in the surveys who were selling local and branded cigarettes at outlets. None of the vendors has obtained license for sale of tobacco; neither had they had information that sales of tobacco‐required license or which government body issues that license. They just knew that they must have obtained license but they don’t what is the procedure and which government regulatory body issues that license. Since those vendors never inspected by concerned authorities or intimated to obtain licensee they keep selling tobacco without license.

Recommendations.

Pakistan as a signatory of the frame work convention of tobacco control (FCTC) needs to take concrete measures to ensure its domestic legislation complies with international commitments.

· City District Govt Multan established DIMC and reactivate Tobacco Control Cell.

· Smoking inside and outside the schools and colleges need to be strictly banned. Complete ban on sale of cigarette near educational institutes should be an important component of comprehensive adolescent smoking prevention programs.

· District authorities should strengthen monitoring system and implement the anti‐tobacco laws at public places especially in public transport, restaurants, playgrounds and hospitals. Placing tags “No smoking” or “Smoking at public place is an offence” and ensures implementation of Nonsmoking ordinance 2002 in district Multan.

· District authorities should implement the vendor’s act and ensure placing the warnings outside and inside of the Tobacco sales point. Vendors should not sale loose cigarettes particularly to minors.

· Activation of Excise and taxation police stations for effective control of sale of cigarettes near educational institutes, smoking at public places and sale of loose cigarettes. Local authorities must ensure that cigarettes sold in packs of 20 and must not be sold in loose or in single sticks.

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