ISLAMABAD: Pakistanis face up to $1.3 billion in health costs annually due to diseases caused by tobacco products.

A research study, “Health implications of smoking in Pakistan,” launched here on Tuesday by Centre for Global and Strategic Studies stated that cardiovascular diseases alone were costing $0.9bn annually to the country where financial resources were already limited for development projects. Other major diseases caused by the tobacco products included lung cancer and tuberculosis.

The report also referred to the official data of Federal Bureau of Statistics that tobacco worth Rs25bn was used in cigarette production in 2019-20.

Pakistan was included among 15 states bearing the worst impacts of smoking related health problems. Data showed that 22 million Pakistanis consume tobacco related products daily, causing deaths of 160,100 individuals annually.Pakistan was to take effective measures to reduce the demand of cigarettes by applying tools of price and taxes, and World Health Organisation (WHO) has recommended taxes up to 75 per cent of the retail price of tobacco products to discourage its use.

On the other hand, Pakistan only has 0.88 points out of five on cigarettes scorecard, the study pointed out, adding various institutional and resource constraints had played their role in the failure to control tobacco prices in the country, resulting in the lowest average price of a cigarette pack in Pakistan.

The study referred to the target number 3.4 of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) wherein Pakistan has committed to reduce non-communicable diseases by one-third till 2030.

“Keeping in mind these commitments, the federal cabinet approved in May 2019 a tax levy on tobacco of Rs10 on each cigarette pack of 20 sticks, but it is yet to be implemented,” the study added.

“The influence of tobacco industry seems to be a factor behind the delay in imposition of the tax levy.”

Published in Dawn, February 17th, 2021

Opinion

Modi’s movies
Updated 16 Jun 2021

Modi’s movies

Fascists seek to control cultural production in a country in order to realise the complete and centralised control of power.
Bye bye Bibi?
16 Jun 2021

Bye bye Bibi?

Netanyahu’s ouster doesn’t really spell change.
Debating the budget
Updated 15 Jun 2021

Debating the budget

Parties, too, have grown, it seems, and are being compelled to think about their problematic economic policies.

Editorial

Centre-Sindh tension
Updated 16 Jun 2021

Centre-Sindh tension

Such an adversarial state of affairs is not sustainable without damaging the working of the federation.
16 Jun 2021

Punjab budget

PUNJAB is where the battle for power will be fought in 2023. Punjab is also where PTI parliamentarians are perhaps...
16 Jun 2021

Haj decision for women

WHILE this year’s Haj will again be marked by a limited number of pilgrims, the Saudi government’s decision to...
15 Jun 2021

Middle East’s plight

THE Middle East is geopolitically and economically perhaps the most important region of the world, home to much of...
Thoughtless eviction
Updated 15 Jun 2021

Thoughtless eviction

Promised compensation of Rs20,000 per month for two years is hardly worth the adversity evicted residents have to undergo.
15 Jun 2021

Cinema ‘industry’?

THE vast gap that often exists between the state’s intentions and its actual efficiency was evident in the third...