In Pakistan, the Pakistan Tobacco Company has introduced nicotine pouches. PTC is a part of British American Tobacco. According to PTC and BAT, Velo is a product that is tobacco-free and involves no combustion. These two facts are correct. However, the question arises that should it be allowed and introduced in Pakistan? Velo is a nicotine pouch that gives nicotine satisfaction to its users. Unfortunately, Velo has attracted a large population of young generation through its advertisement in Pakistan. This population also includes people who are non-smokers.
The advertisements have shown Velo as an aspirational and captivating product. Several renowned actors and social media influencers were highly-paid to promote these nicotine pouches. These so-called influencers have not to think about their followers even once and drag them towards this addictive drug just for the sake of money.
For attracting the youth towards Velo, the price of this imported nicotine drug has been kept very low. Even the sample has been given away free. Many youngsters admit that they have used nicotine for the time in the form of Velo. BAT claims that Velo is not available to individuals under 18 years of age. But the facts are the opposite. While asking some students, who were under 18, we found that Velo product is also available to them. Some of them have tried the free sample given without asking for any proof of their age.
The people who don’t know about nicotine, let me clarify that nicotine is an addictive and highly toxic product. This drug also affects the adolescent brain. Nicotine is as difficult to give up as heroin. It acts as both a stimulant and a sedative. Nicotine affects the gastrointestinal system, hormones, and heart of an individual. Nicotine taken in an excessive amount can cause respiratory failure and even death. The effects of nicotine include sleep disturbances, indigestion, headache, nervousness, dry mouth, constipation, chest pain, palpitations, irregular heartbeat, mental confusion, fainting, weakness, blurred vision, cold sweats, severe heartburn, dizziness, headache, fatigue, nausea, and vomiting. These effects are highly-observed among the new users.
Velo is also known as the nicotine-super-addictive product. In the advertisements of Velo, we can see that it is a mood booster, party drug, or sensation of pleasure. Velo is a drug that puts you in a world of fantasy.
Velo and all the other nicotine pouches should ban in Pakistan. Even if we talk about the Islamic point of view, Velo would be considered as a Haram product as it gives you the sensation of pleasure. So it would be preferred to please stay away from this harmful addictive drug and don’t inspire by the songs and commercials they are advertising for attracting the customers. The government should take quick action and ban this product in Pakistan. Its advertisement should also be banned immediately as this product would lead our young generation towards destruction.
Areesha Khan is a young writer, student and social activist. She blogs @ Areesha Khan Blog.