TIME and again Pakistan has failed to ensure the implementation of tobacco control laws. The sale of cigarettes to people below 18 years of age is strictly prohibited in the country, but they are easily available to minors at every kiosk on streets across the country.

Since the market consists of illicit and illegal sales of cigarettes, they are sold at prices lower than the regulated ones to the minors. The Ministry of Health has revealed that about 1,200 children aged 6-15 years are addicted to smoking on a daily basis. It is imperative that laws prohibiting the sale of cigarettes to youth be strictly enforced, and disciplinary action be taken against the retailers violating it.

Abu Bakar Kareem
Karachi

Published in Dawn, May 28th, 2021

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