ISLAMABAD: The district administration of Islamabad has decided to fine smokers under 18 years of age, Deputy Commissioner Hamza Shafqaat said.

“We have started online registration of people across the city who smoke cigarettes,” he said. “Anyone under the age of 18 years found smoking will now be fined and even arrested.”

According to Excise Department Director Bilal Bilal Azam, fines will range from Rs1,000 to Rs100,000. Shopkeepers selling cigarettes in the open will be punished as well.

“Vendors will not be allowed to open shops outside schools and colleges,” he said, adding that the department will ensure violators are fined or jailed.

International media reports reveal that the number of smokers across the world has increased to 1.10 billion. In 2019, over eight million people died because of smoking.

In Pakistan, tobacco is a cause of death of around 108,800 people every year. This is 298 deaths per day, according to the Pakistan Tobacco Control Cell.


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