Medical students found Education Against Tobacco in Pakistan
Medical student Kanza Noor Butt (21 years old) from King Edward Medical University founded Education Against Tobacco in her home country – 14 medical students joined her team within a day.
Kanza, what is your motivation to found Education Against Tobacco in Pakistan?
My grandfather died last year due to many pathologies in almost every vital system. His lung, heart and brain functions, all were compromised along with esophageal cancer. He and we seeing him went through a lot of pain. He’d been smoking all through his adulthood. Moreover, when I see my friends and fellow students smoking and becoming addicts as well, I imagine my grandfather. Additionally there is no legislation against smoking which makes it hard to control the overgrowing number of smokers around. I would love to contribute to eradicate this menace from society.
What is the prevalence in Pakistan?
About 36% of Pakistani males and 9% of females smoke cigarettes. The prevalence is rising especially in schools and universities where students smoke due to A) Depression B) exam pressures C) Peer pressure D) To look cool E) any kind of anxiety e.g during parlamentary debates.
What are your next steps?
My next step would be to publicize my facebook group about EAT and hold interactive seminars using the worksheets and posters provided in the resources and introducing the hazards of smoking in daily routine which is more relatable to the students. I also plan on publicizing the anti-smoking App designed by EAT members. You can join us here: http://educationtobacco.org/pakistan In addition, I took the role as a Continental Supervisor together with Imtiaz Hafiz for Asia. In accordance, we will try to advertise medical students from other countries to found new Education Against Tobacco groups.
Which schools do you have in focus?
I will lay my focus on both lower class schools, because the students lack awareness there and the elite-class schools where the students smoke Cannabis will be involved consecutively.
Interview: Titus J. Brinker