Offices in Lahore directed to be made smoke-free

no smoking in Lahore offices

LAHORE: Commissioner Muhammad Ali Randhawa of Lahore Division has taken a proactive stance to discourage smoking within government offices.

He has instructed all departments to transform their workplaces into smoke-free environments, prominently displaying ‘Smoking is strictly prohibited’ sign.

To implement this initiative effectively, department heads are required to nominate a focal person and two master trainers at the divisional level.

According to details, these individuals will undergo training to lead efforts towards making the city smoke-free.

During the inaugural anti-smoking meeting in Lahore, Commissioner Randhawa underscored the essential participation of representatives from all departments in the Divisional Implementation Committee for Anti-Smoking.

Commissioner Randhawa has directed department heads to enforce a smoke-free policy within their offices and to display the prescribed signage prominently.

Stringent enforcement of anti-tobacco laws in various settings, including vehicles, hotels, and restaurants, is mandated, with a clear message that violations will not be tolerated and that the police are authorised to take immediate action against offenders.

Underscoring the importance of strict rule enforcement in public spaces, Commissioner Randhawa has mandated each department to formulate a work plan within two weeks and communicate it to the administration.

Education authorities are tasked with providing data on shops within a 50-metre radius of schools and colleges to the commissioner’s office.

Additionally, they are expected to organise speech and writing competitions to foster creativity among children against tobacco use.

The Commissioner has issued instructions to initiate inspections of the sale of all tobacco products near educational institutions. Violations such as open cigarettes and tobacco advertisements on shop premises will be addressed promptly, with monthly reports submitted to the Commissioner’s office.

To streamline the reporting process, Commissioner Randhawa announced the introduction of a Smoke-Free Pakistan mobile application for lodging complaints related to smoking law violations.

Aftab Ahmed from the Ministry of National Health, present at the meeting, shared alarming statistics, revealing that over 160,000 people die annually in Pakistan due to smoking.

He urged the government not only to prevent new smokers but also to support existing smokers in overcoming this scourge.

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