Mirza Abeer is the founder of a registered non-profit organisation called Association for Smoking Alternatives Pakistan (ASAP) whose main goal has always been to help adult smokers, who cannot quit smoking, by using safer alternatives, “Almost no one manages to quit cold turkey without relapsing whereas nicotine patches and gums are least effective.” says Abeer.

What you need to know:

Abeer says he has been working for almost 2 years to get safer alternatives like electronic cigarettes, recognised by the Govt of Pakistan as viable methods to quit smoking, similar to approaches by the UK and NZ, “The govt currently is issuing an SRO pertaining to heated tobacco products, it is a small step in the right direction and it must end with electronic cigarettes that use flavored nicotine e-liquids being recognized as well.”

Why it matters:

Being an ex-smoker himself, Abeer personally witnessed people quitting smoking through the help of vaping and other alternatives, “I advocate for those smokers who can’t quit smoking despite trying. They shouldn’t be ignored or given up on. They should be educated on safer alternatives. A similar approach to what the UK and New Zealand have taken, their lives matter!” he added.