ISLAMABAD: Anti-tobacco and health activists across the country have welcomed Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s statement issued on World No Tobacco Day, which strongly discouraged tobacco consumption and advocated for increased taxation on the tobacco industry.

The statement has been hailed as a step forward for the anti-tobacco movement in the country, which has long been demanding stricter regulations and higher taxes on tobacco products.

“We are positive to see the Prime Minister taking a bold stance against the tobacco industry,” said Maryam Gul Tahir, Director at The Centre for Research and Dialogue (CRD), here on Sunday.

She said this is a crucial step towards protecting the health and wellbeing of our citizens, especially our youth.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), tobacco consumption is responsible for over 160,000 deaths in Pakistan every year.

Anti-tobacco activists have long been pushing for increased taxation on tobacco products, citing the proven effectiveness of this strategy in reducing consumption.

PM Shehbaz Sharif’s statement has also drawn attention to the need for stricter regulations on the tobacco industry, including a ban on tobacco advertising and promotion.

“The tobacco industry has long been exploiting our youth with its deceptive marketing tactics,” said Gul.

She said, “We welcome the PM’s commitment to protecting our youth from the harmful effects of tobacco.”

The prime minister’s statement has set a positive tone for the country’s efforts to combat tobacco consumption.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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M. Zahid Iftikhar Jun 10, 2024 10:16am
Great. We need to treat tobacco as a drug. It is nothing but a health menace. Also, the lobby of KP's tobacco barons bankrolled PTI despite its policy of fomenting chaos.
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