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Wednesday October 27, 2021

Tobacco advertising

May 03, 2021

Pakistan’s ban on tobacco advertising to prevent smoking and protect public health is constantly being violated by illicit cigarette manufacturers. Advertising posters of illegal brands are visible on kiosks and shops selling cigarettes across the country in which smoking is being encouraged through reward schemes. No action is being taken by the law enforcement agencies on this blatant violation. This is the very reason why the number of cigarettes consumed annually by Pakistanis has been around 80 billion for many years. The federal government has banned the promotion of cigarettes across the country. Posters or banners that promote smoking cigarettes were also banned. Despite effective laws in Pakistan, the promotion of illegal cigarettes continues unabated across the country. The main reason for the ineffectiveness of the government’s anti-tobacco policies is the continued availability of illegal cigarettes which violate the laws and negatively affects the government’s measures to reduce cigarette smoking in Pakistan.

An increase in taxes has benefitted these illegal cigarette brands as they’ve captured a market share of 40 percent and hence health organisations and experts need to urge the government to take these ground realities into account and act against those who are violating the law.

Abu Bakar Kareem

Karachi