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May 23, 2019

Tobacco taxation

Newspost

 
May 23, 2019

Smoking is the single largest preventable cause of death in the country. In most countries of the world, smoking rates are declining mainly because of increased taxation on cigarettes and by implementing smoke-free laws. Significant increases in tobacco taxes are a highly effective tobacco control strategy and can lead to significant improvements in public health. The positive health impact is even greater when some of the revenues generated by tobacco tax increases are used to support tobacco control and health promotion.

Unfortunately, in Pakistan cigarette prices are the lowest in the world. Last year, the federal government announced a 'sin tax' on tobacco but it never got implemented – presumably because of powerful tobacco lobby. Tobacco kills 166,000 people every year in Pakistan. This is my humble request to the finance adviser to take steps to make cigarettes costly in the forthcoming budget in order to discourage our youth from taking up the deadly addiction of smoking.

Prof Javaid A Khan

Karachi

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