ACCORDING to estimates, the tobacco industry will be responsible for a loss of 7.5 per cent of Pakistan’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2023. This is a staggering figure, and it reflects
the extent to which tobacco consumption has become a major problem in the country. The industry produces over four million tonnes of tobacco leaves, which are then processed and sold for consumption.
The main reason for the negative effect of tobacco industry on the economy of Pakistan is the health risks that are associated with smoking. The use of tobacco leads to an increased risk of cancer, stroke and other health complications.
In addition, the health costs associated with smoking are estimated to be around Rs250 billion every year. This is a huge drain on the economy, as it affects the ability of the government to provide healthcare services and other public services.
Another major impact is the amount of money spent on indirect advertising and promotion. An estimated amount of Rs5 billion is spent under this head every year.
It is essential that the government takes steps to reduce the negative impact of the industry on the economy. This can be done by increasing taxes on tobacco products, banning even indirect tobacco advertising, and investing in public health initiatives.
Syed Hassan Raza
Published in Dawn, May 3rd, 2023
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