Prof Khan claims that about 90% of the deaths would be avoided if people stopped smoking in Pakistan. That sounds like a hyperbole. You just need to walk the streets of Lahore or Karachi in the middle of the day with loud buses, rickshaws, old automobiles and trucks to get a good kick of tar in your lungs. Who needs buy to a pack of Malboros.
This report also does not talk at all about second hand smoke. Speaking from experience, second hand smoke is worse than the first hand. At least a smoker has a filter to breath the chemicals in with. A lot of people would get lung diseases because somebody in their household smokes. No fault of theirs but well tough luck.
Also Pakistan has little or no quality control for cigerretes. Speaking from experience the Pakistani Malboro sucks in taste, it’s like smoking marble, you can almost feel a layer of tar settling on the surface of your lungs and throat. Don’t take me wrong, US Malboro is bad for you too but at least it doesn’t taste that horrible and would probably take a little longer to destroy your lungs.
I think it is about time Pakistan take some bold steps. First would be to ban smoking in public spaces especially restaurants (trust me, I will miss that a lot but it has to be done). Secondly, regulate the tobacco industry better, have some quality controls for crying out loud. Thirdly and perhaps most importantly, do what US has been doing for the past many years i.e. make the tobacco companies pay for the estimated health costs from lung diseases caused by smoking.
Well, you know as well as I do that nothing would really happen, things will remain as they are, human life is just not valued that much in our beloved country.