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ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of National Health Services has asked the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to take action and suspend brand registration of 10 cigarette manufacturers found to be involved in blatant violations of critical tobacco control laws.

In this regard, the FBR chairman has received a letter from Director General Health, here on Friday.

According to the letter addressed to the FBR chairman, some of cigarettes manufacturers are violating the tobacco advertisement guidelines issued under section 7 of the “Prohibition of Smoking and Protection of Non-smokers Health Ordinance, 2002”.

As a regulatory authority to oversee the operations of cigarette manufacturers and the branding of their products, the FBR holds a pivotal role in upholding and enforcing tobacco control laws. It is requested that the FBR may take a decisive action against that cigarette manufacturers found to be engaging in blatant violations of these critical tobacco control laws

In cases where egregious non-compliance persists, it is strongly recommended that suspension of brand registration as a measure to compel adherence to the tobacco control laws. This proactive approach is essential to safeguard public health and ensure the full enforcement of tobacco control laws for the benefit of our nation’s well-being, the Director General (Health) added.

The Ministry of National Health Services Regulations and Coordination has issued notices to 10 companies for violation of the tobacco advertisement guidelines issued under section 7 of the “Prohibition of Smoking and Protection of Non-smokers Health Ordinance 2002”.

The ministry’s attached department, Tobacco Control Cell (TCC), issued notices to 10 companies over violation of the Prohibition of Smoking and Protection of Non-smokers Health Ordinance, 2002.

The government issued SR072(1)12020, dated January 30, 2020, under section 7 of the Prohibition of Smoking and Protection of Non-smokers Health Ordinance, 2002, wherein, it has been stipulated that no tobacco or tobacco product advertisement, promotion and sponsorship shall be allowed through a poster or painting or banner made out of paper, plastic, cloth or screen display or electronic display any other material or by any other mean, at point of sale - either inside or outside or any other place, the TCC stated in its letters issued to tobacco companies.

The TCC directed the companies to submit a written reply within 10 days of the issuance of this notice as to why necessary legal action may not be initiated against the companies, for the aforesaid prima facie violation of law, the Health Ministry added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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