Tobacco claims more than 100,000 lives annually in the country while this death toll is much higher as compared to the deaths caused by suicide attacks, terrorism, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other fatal diseases.
Health experts informed this while addressing a news conference at the Karachi Press Club on Monday under the banner of National Alliance for Tobacco Control (NATC).
Head of Pulmonary Medicine, AKU and NATC Chairman Prof Javed Khan said despite well-known dangers and destructive effects of tobacco, the profits from its business continue to soar and sales of cigarettes consistently increase. “The sale of cigarettes rose from 5,000 billion to 5,900 billion in 2009”, he informed.
“Smoking and other means of tobacco consumption kill more people annually than alcohol, Aids, accidents, illegal drugs, murders and suicides combined altogether. Tobacco was responsible for 5.4 million deaths in 2010 and this toll is expected to rise to 10 million by 2025 if it goes unchecked, he added.