“Smoke-Free Gilgit-Baltistan” is a project funded by the “Tobacco-Free Kids Action Fund” implemented by the “Socio-Economic and Educational Development Organization (SEEDO) as a pilot project in four districts of Gilgit-Baltistan (Gilgit Division).CTFK has extended its funding support for the next round after its successful implementation for the first round. Since the project is initiated, we have received encouraging responses from all the stakeholders; either it is the provincial government or the community who are the ultimate beneficiaries of this project. Meetings with high officials in the provincial government, law-enforcement agencies, civil society organizations, and concerned bureaucrats have been espousing. We hope that the project “Smoke-Free Gilgit-Baltistan” gifted by “Tobacco-Free Kids Action Fund” will be a blessing for communities directly and indirectly affected by tobacco epidemics. In the year 2020, we will support Gilgit-Baltistan Govt to implement newly passed provincial-based tobacco control law “Gilgit-Baltistan Tobacco Control Act 2020” in Gilgit-Baltistan.
On 5th May, Tobacco Control Act 2020 GB was permitted from Gilgit-Baltistan Cabinet. Secretary GB assembly recommended it to the law reforms committee to review and ordered them to present it in the next session of the GB Assembly. On May 7th, 2020 the Act was presented by “Advocate Aurangzeb” in GB Assembly, after the consultation of all Assembly members it was successfully approved by the Gilgit-Baltistan Assembly. Laws regarding freely purchase and selling of tobacco smoke and SLT and their use in open public places are soon implemented in Gilgit-Division and we wish to be able to make Gilgit-Baltistan as smoke-free places.
On 19th of May 2020, district HeadQuarters (DHQ)hospital Nagar inaugurated as a tobacco smoke-free public health facility by District Health Officer (DHO) Nagar, Deputy Director Education Nagar, CEO, SEEDO Mr. Aziz Karim and Hospital Staff were also present in the ceremony. CEO, SEEDO briefed about the purpose and importance of the event; he said that this is a Model activity to highlight anti-tobacco laws and to increase awareness among people about harms of tobacco to its direct users and second-hand smokers. He further said that with the help of civil society, local retailers, and religious leaders of GB, a number of villages have been made tobacco-free places.
Tobacco-free inauguration ceremony in PHQ Hospital Gilgit:
Commissioner Gilgit Division, Secretary Information, Medical Superintendent, and CEO SEEDO inaugurated PHQ Hospital as a smoke-free place in Gilgit Baltistan and this ceremony was conducted on the 20th of May 2020. The high profiled Government officials appreciated the efforts and courage of the SEEDO team for the approval of the Tobacco Control Act 2020 GB from GB Assembly and also encourage them to sustain their struggle for the betterment of society and youth. Media Personal of different electronic and print media was also invited on this occasion, CEO SEEDO, Mr.AzizKarim briefly discuss with Media about the causes of tobacco smoke and how human health can be affected by smoking under this pandemic period of COVID-19.
Precautionary Measures of COVID-19 and Tobacco:
The whole world is familiar with the effects of COVID-19 where all societies around the world are suffering socially and economically, SEEDO Gilgit-Baltistan is at the front line to fight against the COVID-19 under this pandemic period and always try to give relief and build awareness among people through printing and electronic media regarding harmful effects of Tobacco and how to protect ourselves during the plague of Coronavirus. SEEDO regularly publish precautionary measures of tobacco smoke and COVID-19 from different printing media platforms as well as use different social media pages to alert people about various effects of tobacco smoke and COVID-19.