The local administration in Rawalpindi recently banned smoking in public places across the district, and has called upon all concerned to prepare plans to enforce the ban in its real spirit. The decision is a welcome step in the right direction, and, if enforced properly, can do a lot of good to the area and its people.
The fact is that making the entire country smoke-free is possible, provided we look beyond the tried and tested methods of tobacco control. The rest of the world is making tobacco harm reduction a part of its plans to completely eliminate combustible smoking.
In other words, every effort should be made to facilitate adult smokers to quit smoking or switch to less harmful options. Nicotine is addictive, but not carcinogenic, whereas tar and other toxic chemicals in a combustible cigarette’s smoke cause disease and death. If the adult smokers can be provided satisfactory alternatives to cigarettes, they would avoid risking their health and life so blatantly.