Peshawar declared smoke-free capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
PESHAWAR: Peshawar has been declared the Smoke-Free Capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in a historic move that recognizes the city’s commitment to promoting a healthier and cleaner environment. The announcement was made by Blue Veins and the Provincial Alliance for Sustainable Tobacco Control, who applauded the unwavering efforts and dedication of Shah Fahad Deputy Commissioner Peshawar, Sania Safi Additional Deputy Commissioner (General), Muhammad Imran Khan Additional Deputy Commissioner Peshawar (Human Rights and Relief), Zainab Naqvi Additional Assistant Commissioner, other Assistant Commissioners of Peshawar and Ajmal Shah Project Coordinator Tobacco Control Cell, Special Secretary Health Abidullah Kakakhel.
Tobacco use is a leading cause of preventable death and disease, responsible for over 8 million deaths worldwide every year. By 2030, it is estimated that tobacco will be responsible for one in six deaths globally, with 80% of those deaths occurring in low- and middle-income countries. The move to make Peshawar a smoke-free capital is part of a larger effort to create healthier, more sustainable communities. By working together, cities can create a world where tobacco use is no longer the leading cause of preventable death and disease.
Qamar Naseem, Program Manager Blue Veins, who played an active role in the process of creating “Smoke-Free Peshawar”, praised the District Administration’s leadership and the Tobacco Control Cell’s tireless work in making this achievement possible. He said that their continued efforts have led to a significant reduction in tobacco consumption, resulting in improved air quality and a healthier environment for the people of Peshawar. Naseem also expressed hope that other cities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and beyond would follow in Peshawar’s footsteps and implement similar measures to promote the well-being of their citizens.
Sana Ahmad, Coordinator of the Child Right Movement (CRM) KP, acknowledged the efforts of the District Administration, Tobacco Control Cell, and Civil Society Organizations in implementing tobacco control policies, conducting awareness campaigns, and ensuring compliance with the smoking ban in public spaces. She stated that through their dedication, Peshawar now stands as a shining example of a city committed to protecting public health and the environment.
Mr. Zahoor, a civil society activist, emphasized the importance of creating tobacco-free capitals to reduce the burden of tobacco-related diseases and improve the health and well-being of communities. He said that cities have a unique opportunity to lead the way in reducing tobacco use and creating healthier communities. As the economic, cultural, and political hubs of their regions, cities can set the tone for public health policies that can make a significant impact on the health and well-being of their residents. By implementing evidence-based policies and interventions, cities can create environments that support healthy behaviors and promote tobacco-free living.