Lahore: The district authorities are formulating a detailed plan to transform the city into a ‘tobacco smoke-free zone’, according to a news report. This initiative aims to minimise passive smoking levels and will introduce measures to facilitate the promotion of public health awareness campaigns in the Punjab capital.
As per details, the provincial government seeks to ban smoking in public spaces; including parks, bus stops, marriage halls, and near educational institutes. It envisages placing a ban on the sale of cigarettes within a 50-metre radius of all educational institutes. Further, anti-smoking banners will be placed in school and college campuses all over the city.
This plan was discussed in the presence of over 17 representatives from various federal and provincial departments – in a meeting held at the Deputy Commissioner’s Office in Lahore. All the relevant departments were instructed to follow through on the plan, as minutes of the meeting were shared with them back on October 24. These departments included the Department of Health, the Lahore Transport Company, the Punjab Masstransit Authority, the Ministry of Health, the School Department, the Parks and Horticultural Authority, the Department of Excise, and the Department of Education.
This plan will also include the formation of a task force that will be tasked with enforcing ban on smoking in public spaces; particularly recreational and tourist spots. The authorities will also set up a Tobacco Control Cell at the office of the Deputy Commissioner Lahore. They have also called for re-enforcing the Punjab Tobacco Vendor Act, 1958, in a bid to regularise the sale of tobacco in the city.
Along with these measures, an extensive awareness campaign involving the distribution of banners and pamphlets will also be executed.