June 5, 2002
Sir, Smoking is a self-inflicted curse which has grim health implications and is fraught with quite serious socio-economic consequences. In Pakistan, smoking is becoming increasingly popular among young people who assume that it is essential to success, social prominence, fashion, fun and sexual attraction. But with the passage of time, it becomes an addiction and refuses to leave the sufferer. Every packet of cigarettes reveals the warning that smoking is extremely injurious to health, but ironically millions of cigarettes are smoked every day.
Smoking is by no means useful for anything. The infliction of ruin, the loss of vitality, the reduction of endurance power, weakened eye-sight and stinking breath are the only returns of smoking. The smokers endanger not only their own lives but of all those who come within the range of their smoke. Smoking has virtually become a dead letter or rather a joke, for nobody cares a bit of it. Even the officials of law enforcing agencies can be seen smoking at public places. Cigarettes are easily available everywhere. The shopkeepers never get bothered about the age of the buyer while selling cigarettes.
In Pakistan a large number of youngsters who are below smoke because cigarettes are easily available. Smoking has also become a fashion as most of the youngsters think it makes them look cool and intellectual despite knowing that it is awfully injurious to their health. The easiest way to save youngsters from this evil is that the guardians should first stop smoking themselves and set an example for their children. Smoking should be banned at all the public places. There should be no commercials of cigarettes on T.V., radio and in the newspapers. A countrywide campaign should be launched to make both the children and grown-ups fully aware of the deadly impacts of smoking. The cultivation of tobacco should be discouraged by the government. Tough legislation on this issue is urgently required and this time legislation should by no means be left unworkable.
Yours truly, X.Y.Z.