Health experts and researchers called for strengthening new tobacco products taxation to reduce access among youth and create dialogue around tobacco control laws in an awareness session organized by Sindh Institute of Oral Health (SIOHS) -Jinnah Sindh Medical University (JSMU) in collaboration with Indus Hospital and Health Network (IHHN).

Vice Chancellor Professor Amjad Siraj Memon expressed gratitude to Indus Hospital and Health Network for collaborating and extended his appreciation to the team SIOHS-JSMU for their support.

The chief guest for the session was Consultant Pulmonologist and Director Lung Health CHD Dr Saima Saeed. ‘Young clinicians and medical professionals often get indulged in tobacco consumption to cope with stressful situations, since nicotine is a mood-altering drug and smoking leads to reduced stress, said added while addressing the dental students.

Our main objective is to garner signatories on the Voices against Tobacco (VAT) petition and drive them towards policy change and as well as create momentum for increasing tax on tobacco products, she added.

The team for lung health included Senior Research Associate Rahma Altaf, Program Manager Lung Health Majid Aleem, Senior Communication Manager Alina Agha, Communication Associate Alisha Jalaluddin, Research Associate Dr Kinza Zeeshan.

During the session, Principal SIOHS-JSMU Dr Zubair Abbasi said that smoking and tobacco use can have a serious impact on brain development and lung health. He stressed that policymakers and the medical fraternity should come together and formulate strategies and preventive measures for tobacco control.

Dean SIOHS-JSMU Dr Yawar Ali Abidi, Vice Principal Dr Wasif Iqbal, and Assistant Director Anwar Ahmed were also among the attendees.

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Arshad Yousafzai is a Karachi-based journalist covering Education and Human Rights. He can be reached on Twitter @Arshadyousafzay

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