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Friday December 03, 2021

No tax rise on tobacco products in 3 years of Naya Pakistan: PANAH

October 31, 2021

Rawalpindi: General Secretary and Director Operations of Pakistan National Heart Association (PANAH) Sana Ullah Ghumman said that in three years of Naya Pakistan (PTI government), most essential commodities have become significantly expensive but sadly, the prices of tobacco products, which are hazardous remain stagnant.

Tobacco use remains an alarming issue for the country and a leading cause of non-communicable diseases. About 170,000 people die in Pakistan every year due to tobacco-related diseases. He said that studies reveal that around 10 per cent increase in taxes on tobacco products can help reduce consumption of tobacco up to eight per cent in lower-income countries like Pakistan.

He said that various studies have shown that tobacco use causes heart disease and coronary heart disease (CHD). Globally, heart disease is the leading cause of death and disability, heart disease causes the loss of lives of 9.4 million people, and 203 million people become disabled.

He added that public health experts are concerned that the government has not been able to increase the prices of tobacco products to reduce the health burden caused by the use of the products. He said that control on tobacco use needs to be included in the vision for Naya Pakistan. Pakistan is a country with having a largely young population and we must protect our precious youth from initiating smoking, by raising taxes on tobacco products, he said.