In a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan, the federal cabinet has approved a ban on sale of loose cigarettes.
Vendors across the country will not be allowed to sell cigarettes from open packets from now on.
Ministry of National Health Services and Regulations recommended this ban which was finally approved by the federal cabinet. According to a ministry representative;
The ministry of national health had been striving to put a ban on sale of loose cigarettes for the last two years
The proposal by health ministry dates back to December 2016. Along with the proposal to ban the sale of loose cigarettes, the committee further recommended banning the use of sheesha and several other tobacco items. The ministry said that strict measures need to be taken to control smoking in public/open areas.
All Pakistan Cigarette, Pan and Beverage Retailers’ Association opposed the ministry’s move to put a ban on the sale of loose cigarettes in January. The association’s representatives told that around 700,000 workers are in this business who are further financially supporting 3 million people by earning money through this process.
The association demanded to be included in the consultation process. However, there is no word whether any members of the association were consulted before approving this law.
A pertinent thing to be mentioned here is that almost all developed countries have banned the sale of loose cigarettes. This is done to control underage kids from smoking as most of them cannot afford a whole cigarette pack.