Both boys and girls wrongly believe that sheesha smoking is not harmful to their health and keep on enjoying it, says Dr Shahnaz Hameed, General Secretary Pakistan National Heart Association (PANAH).
Talking to APP she said that studies prove that sheesha smoking is 200 times more injurious than cigarettes.
She said media could play an important role in raising awarness about its harmful effects. On the contrary almost every TV channel telecast dramas in which boys and girls are shown smoking cigaraettes in a stylish manner, she added.
The average mortality rate in Pakistan is about 50 years, which is much less than the global average age, Dr Shahnaz said.
“We cannot see our people dying at an early age when they are needed most by our country and their families.”
She said that PANAH plans to set-up a helpline to assist smokers quit this bad habit forever. Presently there is no helpline to get people rid of smoking, Dr Shahnaz added.
She observed that the boys usually start smoking at an early age in Pakistan, in some cases as young as 6 years, and later they develop it as a habit which is very hard to give up.