Wednesday October 27, 2021

NATC calls for reducing health hazards

May 28, 2021

Islamabad : The National Alliance for Tobacco Control (NATC) has written a letter to Minister for Finance Shaukat Tareen, urging him to increase tax on tobacco products in the upcoming budget to discourage smoking and bring down health cost in the country.

In the letter, the alliance’s chairman Professor Javaid Khan requested the finance ministry to increase taxes on cigarettes in the budget to reduce the burden of tobacco-related diseases in the country. He said the federal cabinet approved a health levy in 2019 with Rs10/cigarette tax to discourage smoking in youth and boost the country’s revenue, but for one reason or the other this additional tax was never implemented.

He said in the letter to the finance minister that prices of cigarettes remain the lowest in Pakistan as compared to the other countries and this was encouraging the youth to get hooked on to this powerful addictive substance. Despite evidence that higher tobacco taxes discourage smoking especially among the youth, Pakistan’s tax policy is among the weakest action areas in the fight against tobacco, the letter reads.