Sunday July 03, 2022

Govt urged to raise taxes on tobacco products

May 24, 2022

Rawalpindi:Pakistan top social and digital media influencers pledged to create awareness against the use of tobacco in Pakistan, says a press release.

They said this in a conference organised by the human rights organisation Chromatic Trust at a local hotel on Monday.The conference started with a comprehensive presentation which included the latest research and data on Tobacco consumers, its effects on the health sector and taxes.

Project Manager of Chromatic Trust Tayyab Raza, during his presentation, explained to the attendants how smoking tobacco caused death, disease and disability.The conference urged social media influencers to play their role in increasing taxes on tobacco products as the availability of cheap cigarettes was the reason behind widespread smoking in Pakistan.

Chromatic Trust CEO Shariq Khan, while speaking on the occasion, said that according to World Health Organisation’s survey, 1,200 children start smoking every day in Pakistan, which was alarming, and we need to take immediate measures to protect our youth from this menace.

“We want the government to strengthen its law towards tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship of tobacco products,” said Shariq.Malik Imran Ahmed, Country Head CTFK, said that one in ten deaths worldwide is caused by tobacco use, and tobacco is the single greatest preventable cause of death globally.

He said that tobacco use continues to grow in developing countries, including Pakistan, due to steady population growth, low prices, lack of awareness about its dangers, and aggressive tobacco industry marketing.

Dr Ziauddin Islam, Country Lead Tobacco Control, Vital Strategies and Former Head Tobacco Control Cell Ministry of NHSRC, demands implementation of the National Tobacco control law in letter and spirit, which includes increasing the size of pictorial health warnings on cigarette packs, implementation of banning the sale of loose cigarettes, implementation of banning advertisement, and promotion at point-of-sale.Furthermore, he urged the government to increase tobacco taxation as no increase was made for five years.