ISLAMABAD: Pakistan falls under the category of low-income food-deficit countries (LIFDCs), which is among top 10 tobacco producing countries of the world.

A study of London's Imperial College in recently unveiled study on smoking titled “Tobacco's global environment footprint” has disclosed that Pakistan is among major producers of tobacco.

The study stated that that tobacco production in under-developed countries should be a cause of concern. Citing the study, Dr Aftab Madni, dean of the Indus University, says, “Almost 90% of all tobacco production is concentrated in the developing world”.

The study further reveals that out of the 10 tobacco producing countries, 9 are developing which include four low-income food deficit countries (LIFDCs). "Pakistan falls in the category of LIFDCs," he said.

He said concerning is the fact that easy availability of cigarettes has become a cause for these people to fall deeper in poverty.

He said the amount that they spend on buy cigarettes can be spent on food and other essential items. He said Capital Calling has mentioned that there is a need for the country to follow the WHO guidelines taxing tobacco.

He said similarly PIDE report stated that "the total costs attributable to all smoking-related diseases and deaths in Pakistan for 2019 are Rs 615.07 billion ($3.85 billion), and the indirect costs (morbidity and mortality) make up 70 percent of the total cost. The total smoking-attributable costs are 1.6 percent of the GDP, whereas the smoking-attributable costs of cancer, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases are 1.15 percent of the GDP.”

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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