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Call to ban pro-smoking activities

Islamabad

May 12, 2020

Islamabad : A study assessing the implementation of World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) Framework Convention of Tobacco Control (FCTC) on Monday ranked the country on 66th position and stressed for ending tobacco related Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as they end up promoting smoking in one way or the other.

The first global Index was launched by the Society for Alternative Media and Research (SAMAR), here. The Global Tobacco Industry Interference Index (GTIII) has called for banning all tobacco related corporate social responsibility activities in Pakistan.

The study used the questionnaire and scoring method of the ASEAN Tobacco Industry Interference Index, which was originally developed by the Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA) to assess how well governments have implemented Article 5.3.

According to the index, “Conflict of interest of retired senior government officials who joined tobacco companies has been a problem” in Pakistan along with Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

The global index is a civil society report assessing the implementation of FCTC Article 5.3 and among the 33 countries; Pakistan’s score on the index is 66 as a country with heavy interference of tobacco industry.

It said tobacco related CSR activities remained a problem, adding “Pakistan Tobacco Company (PTC) was able to sign Memorandum of Understanding with a few government agencies for joint CSR activities.”

It said that the government should require the tobacco industry to submit information on tobacco production, manufacture, market share, marketing expenditures, revenues and lobbying activities.

Malik Imran Ahmed, representative of campaign for Tobacco Free Kids Pakistan said that government lacks National Framework Policy (NFP) to discourage the tobacco consumption in Pakistan. “Though multiple measures are being taken but the country lacks a consistent and long term policy for reduction of tobacco consumption and implementation on FCTC,” he said.

He said that around 1200 new smokers are being added daily in the smoking club which is alarming and the policy should be devised to stop new smokers.