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Education Ministry officials express commitment to reduce tobacco consumption, create healthier environment for youth

ISLAMABAD, Jun 01 (APP): The officials of Federal Education and Professional Training Ministry in a meeting held here on Thursday expressed their commitment to taking concrete steps to reduce tobacco consumption and create a healthier environment for the youth.

The meeting titled “Grow Food:Not Tobacco” was held under the chairmanship of the Parliamentary Secretary of Education, highlighting Pakistan’s efforts to combat tobacco use in major cities, particularly within educational institutions.

The meeting was attended by esteemed members of various organizations and governmental bodies, as well as representatives from the United Nations (UN).

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Quan from the UN (Director of Tobacco Control), Ms Katty Wright (Senior Program Manager) said the Union commended the Ministry of Federal Education for its dedication and the progress made in eradicating tobacco use in Pakistan, especially within educational institutions.

The enforcement of Ordinance 2002, which discourages tobacco use, was highly appreciated as the practical steps by ICTA .

The Parliamentary Secretary also extended her full support, assuring that the issue of tobacco use would be addressed at a policy level as it takes away 448 lives everyday and about 200000 yearly.

She emphasized the need to minimize tobacco use and its associated health risks especially in educational institutions and in general workplaces.

In her address, the Parliamentary Secretary of Education shared her ideas on raising awareness about the harmful effects of tobacco use.

She proposed the display of “no tobacco use” advertisements on 400 buses belonging to the FDE, aiming to reach a wide audience and effectively spread the message.

During the meeting, Deputy Director of the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE), Naveed Anjum, and Senior Joint Secretary, Ministry of Federal Education Junaid Akhlaq expressed their unwavering support for educational institutions in implementing measures to curb tobacco use.

They emphasized the importance of creating a healthy and smoke-free environment for students.
Additional Secretary Ministry of Federal Education Salman Mufti shared his insights on the issue, stressing the urgent need to address the significant health risks associated with tobacco use.

DG of the Higher Education Commission (HEC), Hazrat Bilal, attended the meeting to signify the commission’s commitment to promoting a tobacco-free culture in higher education institutions.

Muhammad Waqas, a member of PEIRA, also assured the implementation of effective measures to combat tobacco use in educational institutions.

Furthermore, representatives from the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations, and Coordination (MoNHRSC),Dr. Mihajus Siraj (CEO Syndicate Health) and the Islamabad Capital Territory Administration (ICTA) were present and actively participated in the discussions.

Their involvement emphasized the importance of inter-agency collaboration in addressing this pressing issue.

The meeting highlighted the commendable efforts of the Ministry of Federal Education and various stakeholders in combating tobacco use in educational institutions.

The Parliamentary Secretary’s proposals, including the advertisement campaign on FDE buses, demonstrate her dedication to tackling this issue effectively.

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