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'One person dies from tobacco consumption every five seconds'.

KARACHI -- According to medical experts, the fourth-largest cause of death is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

The increasing number of diseases and deaths by tobacco smoking is a cause for concern. If this menace isn't controlled, it can be harmful for the country's health as well as its economy.

These views were expressed by health experts assistant professor Syed Zafaryab Hussain and associate professor Dr Faisal Fayyaz Zuberi on World No Tobacco Day. They were addressing a seminar, 'Hazards of Smoking and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease', which jointly sponsored by the Express Media Group and Novartis.

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Novartis Head of Sales Maqsood Khan, business unit head Javed Munir, Express Media Group Marketing and Sales Executive Director Azfar Nizami and Associate Director Marketing Kamran Ahmed participated in the seminar, along with others.

Addressing the ceremony, Dr Hussain said that one person dies due to tobacco consumption after every five seconds. In 2016, a total of three million people died due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which makes up 6% of total international deaths, he said, adding that the disease is expected to become the third-largest cause of death by 2020.

He said that in Pakistan, 171,000 people died due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

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More people are dying due to smoking than terrorism, he said terming electrical cigarettes, sheesha, cigarettes and biomass fuel as being largely responsible for sustaining chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Talking to Express News, Dr Hussain said that the carbon monoxide from a cigarette enters the blood stream and eliminates oxygen in the body, while nicotine enters the brain via the nasal passage and lungs and causes difficulty in breathing and affects the brain.

Responding to a question, Dr Hussain he said many anti-smoking laws were made in Pakistan but not implemented. He said it is the responsibility of doctors to offer counseling to patients and assist them in quitting smoking. Many youngsters smoke as part of a fashion statement, he believed.

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Dr Zuberi said that if anyone does not smoke, but sits in a surrounding where there is smoke, it is as if they smoked 200 cigarettes. He said that though it is not necessary that every smoker would go on to suffer from cancer or other diseases, such persons are likely to be at risk of suffering from a disease.

He said that at first it was assumed that more men suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, but now the average for the disease is almost the same in women. Smoking is the second name of buying a disease after spending money, Dr Zuberi said, terming smoking as the basis for many diseases, which also affects the quality of life.

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Publication:The Express Tribune (Karachi, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Jun 4, 2018
Words:536
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