A letter of intent was signed between COMSATS University Islamabad (CUI) and Tobacco Smoke Free Capital Project of the Ministry of National Health Services as part of a national drive for freeing universities from smoking.
The ceremony was attended by Parliamentary Secretary for NHS ministry Dr Nousheen Hamid, Deputy DG of Health Dr Minhajus Siraj and several senior faculty members of CUI.
CUI Rector Prof. Dr. Raheel Qamar briefed participants about the early history of tobacco including its discovery by the people of Mesoamerica, South America, Europe and the rest of the world.
He also highlighted the addictive properties and the harmful effects of chemicals in the tobacco. Prof. Dr. Raheel Qamar informed the gathering about the achievements and the steps taken by CUI to make all its seven campuses smoking free.
The rector said the initiative of the government was in line with other steps like planting of trees and reduction of plastics to make Pakistan’s environment healthy for future generations. He said like Sri Lanka, Pakistan also needed to exponentially increase the price of cigarettes to discourage their use.
Dr Minhajus Siraj said Pakistan is a tobacco growing, developing country where one third of male adults use tobacco in any form and over 166,000 die of tobacco related diseases every year.