Display of cigarettes at points of sale banned

Updated March 04, 2020

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Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) has finally succeeded in imposing a ban on display of cigarettes at sale points.  — AFP/File
Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) has finally succeeded in imposing a ban on display of cigarettes at sale points. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) has finally succeeded in imposing a ban on display of cigarettes at sale points.

This is a major development which will protect the new generation from the hazards of tobacco, says Dr Mohammad Zia, Technical Head of ministry’s Tobacco Control Cell, while talking to Dawn.

Dr Zia said now shopkeepers would have to keep the tobacco products at some hidden place.

“We have implemented most of the recommendations of the World Health Organisation’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control which was signed by Pakistan in 2004. Now the only recommendation, which has to be implemented, is that the tobacco companies should be stopped from taking part in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities,” he said.

“It was unfortunate that tobacco products were placed near sweets and other edible items to attract children and youth. Now we will start efforts to stop CSR activities by tobacco companies,” he said.

New Statutory Regulatory Order (SRO), published in the Gazette of Pakistan, states that no tobacco or tobacco product advertisement, promotion and sponsorship shall be allowed in media.

It states that tobacco products cannot be advertised by display and visibility of tobacco products at, either inside or outside of a point of sale, including mobile or fixed retail outlet and street vendor or any other place.

Moreover, tobacco companies will not be allowed to distribute free goods, through payment or other contributions to retailers, as gifts, giveaways, souvenirs, discounts, cash rebates, swapping or by any other means to encourage or induce them to sell products, including retailer incentive programmes.

Companies will not be able to advertise products through payment or other consideration in exchange for the exclusive sale or prominent display of a particular product or particular manufacturer’s product in a retail outlet at a venue or at an event.

Published in Dawn, March 4th, 2020