ISLAMABAD, Apr 15 (APP):Minister for National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Aamer Mehmood Kiani on Monday said efforts were being made to make federal capital a tobacco free city.

Addressing a ceremony held here to declare National Monument and Lok Virsa Heritage Museum Shakarparian – tobacco free places, the minister said the government had planned several strategies to protect the health of citizens from negative effects of smoking by initiating public awareness drives.

He said along with the government it was also social responsibility of the every countryman to play effective role to discourage use of tobacco in public transport and educational institutions.

He said use of tobacco in public transport was already ban under the laws.

Kiani said the government would not allow anyone to play with the health of country’s youth through sale of tobacco items. He added that strict action would be taken on receiving any such complaint in the federal capital.

The minister said federal capital is the most beautiful city of the world and urged citizens to maintain its beauty. He said as many as 214 places of federal capital had been declared smoke free.

He said Pakistan was included in the list of those 15 countries where the economy had been badly affecting from the burden of health problems. He added that tobacco use was one of the major contributors in damaging the health of people.

Kiani said according to Tobacco Survey-2014, around 14 million adult Pakistanis had been using any form of tobacco. He added that the rate of tobacco use in country’s youth was 10.7 percent.

He said the government had started various activities to protect people from carrying communicable and non communicable disease. He said the government had been paying special focus on protecting youth of the country from use of tobacco.

He added that the government had imposed a ban on sale of open cigarettes in the markets while the size of health warning on cigarette packs had been increased from 50 percent to 60 percent. He added that actions had also been taken against use of sheesha smoking.