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Coronavirus
LOW
Source: covid.gov.pk
Pakistan Deaths
28,793
924hr
Pakistan Cases
1,287,703
31024hr
Sindh
477,119
Punjab
443,610
Balochistan
33,514
Islamabad
107,989
KPK
180,471

ISLAMABAD: A multinational cigarette manufacturer company is making plans for launching non-combustible alternatives (NCAs) product such as e-cigarette in Pakistan over the next 12 to 18 months period.

This can only happen if predictable regulatory and taxation regime is placed in the country.

“We intend to launch Harm Tobacco Reduction (HTR) product by investing a substantial amount for placement of machinery provided properly regulatory regime is in place in Pakistan. It will take place over 12 to 18 months period,” the Managing Director Philip Morris (PMPKL), Roman Yazbeck, said, while talking to a select group of reporters, here on Wednesday.

He said that the non-combustible alternatives products were allowed in many parts of the world as it was banned mostly where the states possessed monopolies.

The NCAs are for adult smokers who would otherwise continue to smoke or use nicotine (except for nicotine replacement therapy).

If smoke free or non-combustible alternatives are regulated in Pakistan, it can potentially help reduce the number of smokers and annual deaths due to smoking-related diseases by shifting the current smokers to smoke free or non-combustible alternatives such e-cigarettes or HTPs as is demonstrated by countries like UK, Japan, and New Zealand.

Presently, there is no ban on the import of NCAs in Pakistan.

Mostly ban has been imposed in those countries where governments in any way have monopolies like India.

There should be choice given to consumers as alternative products could provide less harmful products to them.

“We are not talking about any specific product but awareness should be created about the non-combusted alternative products are those that do not burn tobacco during consumption,” he said and added that it would be a challenge for cigarette manufacturers to create awareness when advertisement was not allowed under different regulations.

If the government allows us to import such products, we will start from import and later local manufacturing can be done depending upon the consumption of such products in Pakistan, he said.

Khurram Qamar, director External Affairs PMPKL responded to different queries and explained the global practices and strategies adopted across the globe for tobacco harm reduction and future plans in Pakistan.

Yazbeck stated that the non-combusted alternative products are those that do not burn tobacco during consumption.

Cigarettes, cigars, and cigarillos are examples of combusted tobacco products, whereas, smokeless alternatives are non-combusted.

When a cigarette is lit, tobacco burns and produces smoke.

This generates more than 6,000 chemicals, many of which are harmful.

Where there is no burning, smoke is not produced, which in turn should lower the level of harmful chemicals in the aerosol.

Of course, this must be scientifically substantiated for each product.

Yazbeck informed that in countries, where NCAs/smoke-free alternatives have been launched, they have been doing well in improving public health.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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