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Smoking activities in Educational Institutions

Injurious practice of smoking in Educational Institutions
Lahore, Oct 15: Youth is the future of Pakistan as they have to shoulder the responsibilities of the nation. For this purpose they should remain healthy and educate themselves to be the good leaders of future. But it is quite tragic that the youth of Pakistan is indulged in the injurious practice of smoking, not only in their houses but also in their educational institutions. Smoking has become a fashion in the students as they are seen smoking every where. This situation is quite alarming in the city of schools and colleges, Lahore, where many instances of smoking in the institutional premises can be witnessed. Smoking in educational institutions has reached that level where these institutes present a picture of a bar with students not learning but just ruining their lives. This unhealthy habit has rotten the lives of many youngsters.

Tobacco use is on the increase in the Pakistani youth because of the aggressive marketing by the tobacco companies which use all possible means to attract the attention of the public to their product and it is quite sad that mostly the youth get fascinated because of their raw minds. There are about 1.3 billion smokers in the world and approximately 80 per cent of them live in the developing countries. According to a survey 20 per cent of male and 16 per cent of female college students are regular smokers and the tobacco use is the single most important preventable cause of disease as it causes 3.5 million pre mature deaths world wide. This injurious practice is generally seen in college students because of the liberty they get after their comparatively strict school life.

Tobacco use primarily begins in early adolescence, reportedly before the time of high school graduation. Transition from high school to college is a critical period to adopt healthy habits and life style but unfortunately most of the students are snared by these unhealthy practices because of various psycho social and physical reasons. In Pakistan about 100,000 people die every year as a result of tobacco and a major portion of these deaths includes the youth of the country. Lung cancer is the vital cause of cancer deaths in males followed by mouth cancer which are tobacco related and can be prevented if this continuous use of nicotine in the form cigarettes is avoided. Its continuous use increases the risk of heart attacks, stroke, pneumonia, chronic lung disease and 20 other serious diseases. A student generally starts smoking by imitating his smoking parents, family members, peers and teachers.

Perception that smoking enhances one's image, relieves boredom, helps in easing tension is also major temptation towards smoking. Although majority of the students suffer from this habit but it is more common in those belonging to rich families having excess of pocket money. Moreover media has played a major role in spreading this menace by presenting a smoker in a glamorized manner. Youths have their ideals in movie stars who can jump over buildings, fight with dacoits and are seen dancing with glamorous heroines and in the end smoke cigarettes which fascinate the youngsters who are ready to imitate their ideals thus becoming a victim of this habit. Despite the ban of the Government the under age sale of cigarettes is on the rise as the shopkeepers keep on selling this poison to the youth in the absence of any monitoring.

This injurious practice of smoking gets worst when most of the students start using heroin and other drugs in their cigarettes. No educational institution of Lahore is free from this evil as there is an open sale of cigarettes going on in the canteens or the cafeterias of the colleges and universities and in the absence of proper checking the life of non smokers is at an equal risk as that of a smoker. Most of the people when they are young do not think about quitting this habit and by the time they decide to give up this addiction it is often too late and permanent damage to health has already been done. The Government has imposed complete ban on smoking at pubic places and the time has come to implement it in letters and spirit.

Media should abstain from glamorous advertisements of tobacco and complete ban on tobacco advertisements should be imposed along with the prohibition of under age sale of cigarettes. The educational institutions are a sacred place meant for imparting education and knowledge, not for breeding addicts. The youngsters should realize their responsibilities towards their families and their country and try to abstain from this tobacco addiction so that they can materialize the dreams of our founding leaders, of making Pakistan as one of the greatest nations of the world. -Khalid Zeeshan (F.P report)

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GCU library website declared best
Lahore: An international journal "Programme: Electronic Library and Information Systems" has declared the GC University's library website "the best library website of Pakistan."

The journal published by Emerald Group conducted a thorough research on library websites in Pakistan to analyse their content, navigational strengths and weaknesses and to give recommendations for developing better websites and quality assessment studies.

The survey of the websites based on 77-item checklists, including updates, number of visitors, essay accessibility and number of digital books, ranked the GC University Library website on the top. However, the library websites of the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) and Punjab University stood second and third respectively.

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Benazir Women University for Punjab
Lahore: Punjab Governor Salman Taseer has said that the government will establish Benazir Bhutto Shaheed Women University in Punjab.

He stated this during his meeting with the HEC chairman, Dr. Javaid R. Leghari who called on the governor at the Governor's House here Wednesday. HEC executive director Prof. Dr. Sohail Hussain Naqvi was also present.

žBenazir Bhutto Shaheed Women University must come up to the highest international standards and play its role in the dissemination of knowledge in the country", the governor said. He asked the HEC chairman to enhance student enrolment in the universities to ensure the promotion of knowledge-based economy. He also stressed the need for the capacity building of the university teachers, adding that the HEC should focus on Advanced Sciences studies rather than traditional studies offered at the seats of higher learning in Punjab.

"HEC must also pay close attention to faculty development and academic and resource strengthening of its campuses in the Southern Punjab cities like Bahawalpur, D.G. Khan, Multan, Bahawalnagar etc", Taseer said.

Punjab is an agricultural Province and it needs biotechnology to enhance its productivity to meet the future requirement of food, the governor said, hailing the role of Punjab University Molecular Biology Center for producing sugar insulin and "interferon" a medicine for fatal disease hepatitis in their laboratories which was a great achievement. The Universities should concentrate on technology production, he added.

The governor urged that the universities should exploit their own resources and involve the local industry and private sector for raising funds. He said that HEC should learn from the experience of Cuban scientists who had excelled in the field of bio-technology.

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Japanese students sang Urdu songs
Lahore: Japanese students sang Pakistani national songs 'Dil, Dil Pakistan' and 'Main Bhi Pakistan Hon, Tu Bhi Pakistan Hai' at the concluding ceremony of their Urdu language short course held at Punjab University New Campus on Wednesday.

Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran was the chief guest of the ceremony which was also attended by Dean Oriental Learning Prof Dr Saleem Mazhar, Principal Prof Dr Mazhar Moeen, Urdu Department Chairman Prof Dr Tehseen Firaqi, Dr Kamran and other Urdu teachers. Five Japanese students from Daito Bunka University under the leadership of Prof Dr Shinoda Takashi have been in the Punjab University over the last fifteen days for their Urdu language short course. The vice-chancellor distributed certificates and shields among the students. The news

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