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Tuesday May 21, 2024

‘Small cigarette packs to impact children’s health’

By INP
April 24, 2024
The printed papers of cigarettes can be seen in a cigarette factory. — FBR Website/File
The printed papers of cigarettes can be seen in a cigarette factory. — FBR Website/File

Islamabad: Health activists expressing profound concern over the recent efforts of tobacco industry to introduce 10-stick cigarette packs have said that it will not only jeopardise the progress made in tobacco control but will also directly impact children and low-income individuals, who are most vulnerable to the harmful effects of tobacco consumption.

Country Head, Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, Malik Imran Ahmed stated that the attempts for 10-stick packs by the tobacco industry are deeply troubling. It will not only undermine the progress made in tobacco control but also directly target children and low-income individuals who are most vulnerable to the harmful effects of tobacco consumption. He said, “Many countries in the world have banned single-stick and small-stick packet sales because they’re easier to purchase for children, youth, and low-income groups, and hence the health burden is very high.”

Malik Imran added that the tobacco industry’s claims of being one of the highest contributors to the economy are blatant lies. This contribution was forced in the forms of direct taxes. In fact, the tobacco industry was still making a profit from this situation by indulging in practices such as under-reporting, price adjustment, and pooling its products in the illicit market.

He said, “If 10-packet cigarettes are allowed for export, there’s a solid chance that the tobacco industry will sell them in the local market. SPARC’s Program Manager, Dr. Khalil Ahmad Dogar said that with approximately 31.9 million adults aged 15 years and above reported as current tobacco users, constituting nearly 19.7% of the adult population, the dire consequences of tobacco consumption extend far beyond individual health.