By: Our Correspondent
ISLAMABAD: The Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (SPARC) hosted a pivotal seminar unveiling the deceptive narrative propagated by the tobacco industry regarding the supposed ‘less harmful’ nature of nicotine products. Renowned speakers, including Mr. Muhammad Ali Saif and Dr. Maheen Malik, emphasized the need for concrete legislative measures and sustained efforts to counter the nuanced threat posed by these products in Pakistan. The seminar underscored the tobacco industry’s targeting of youth and non-smokers, calling for collective action to safeguard the health and development of children and youth in the country.
Mr. Malik Imran Ahmad, Country Head, CTFK Media and New Nicotine Products, shared insights from the field, revealing that the tobacco industry’s marketing strategy falsely claimed new nicotine products as alternatives for adult smokers to quit cigarettes. However, evidence from the field exposed their actual intent—targeting youth and non-smokers to foster addiction and maximize profits. The seminar shed light on the alarming consequences of this industry tactic, emphasizing the urgent need for awareness and regulatory measures.
The seminar concluded with Dr. Khalil Ahmad Dogar, Program Manager at SPARC, reiterating the paramount importance of protecting the health and development of children and youth in Pakistan. He emphasized that children and youth are the present and future of the nation, making it a collective responsibility to shield them from the adverse effects of nicotine products. The call for immediate and concerted action resonated, marking a significant step toward safeguarding the well-being of the younger generation against the harms of addictive nicotine products.