Punjab Higher Education Commission (PHEC) and Tabacco Smoke-free Cities Project of Minister of National Health Services, Regulations, and Coordination (NHSRC) signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) in a formal ceremony held today at PHEC Head Office, Lahore. The LOI that inked in the presence of Prof Dr Fazal Ahmed Khalid, Chairman PHEC, Prof Dr Bushra Mirza, Vice-Chancellor of Lahore College for Women University, and Dr Minhaj-us-Siraj, Project Director Tabacoo Smoke-free Capital Project, was aimed at extending mutual collaboration to control, regulate and discourage the use of tobacco at the universities campuses and attached institutions of higher learning in Punjab.

Under the terms of understanding, mutual efforts will be made to create awareness regarding the hazards of tobacco use and its adverse impacts on society. PHEC will facilitate to connect Tobacco Smoke-Free City Project by providing focal persons from the provincial universities; Tobacco Smoke-Free City Project, on the other hand, will facilitate to organize awareness sessions, by providing Information Education & Communication (IEC) material and resource persons, at provincial universities.

The scope of understanding also includes assisting PHEC’s efforts in declaring universities/HEIs smoke-free. Further, in order to generate local data and mechanisms to influence policymakers, both the organization will facilitate local universities to encourage research projects on Tobacco Control. Furthermore, Tobacco Smoke-Free Cities Project will explore linkages with international research institutes on Tobacco Control, for collaboration with Universities in Public/Private Sector.

Both the parties will develop policy guidelines to ensure observance of Tobacco Control Laws, at the universities. PHEC will evaluate the effectiveness of and adherence to the letter of intent. The LOI will remain effective until modified or terminated by anyone, otherwise for  World No Tobacco Day, 31st May 2030.

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