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Tuesday May 28, 2024

‘FED on cigarettes right step’

By Our Correspondent
February 25, 2023

Islamabad: If Pakistan has to stay in step with the developed world, it has to increase cigarettes prices which are still lower compared to developed countries.

The increase in FED on cigarettes through an SRO, is a step in the right direction, stated academicians, adding that the government should not yield to pressure of tobacco manufacturers.

Dr Muhammad Zaman, the chairman of the Department of Sociology at Quaid-e-Azam University, told reporters that in Europe, cigarettes are deliberately made too expensive to afford.

He said he had closely monitored markets in Germany and France to find that not only cigarettes are taxed heavily, they are also not allowed at public spaces. He said tax on cigarettes is obviously a positive point in largely disliked IMF protocol. Dr Hassan Shehzad, from International Islamic University, said attempts are being made on social media to pressure the government into taking back its decision to tax cigarettes, which is deplorable.

“Cigarette makers are not allowed to advertise their products because they are harmful. But now they are using the advertisement budget on generating a debate on social media to gain tax relaxations from the government. It needs to be in mind that these relaxations come at the cost of public health,” he said.