Health experts have expressed satisfaction with the government’s decision to increase taxation on tobacco products.
A press release issued by the Society for the Protection of Rights of the Child (SPARC) detailed that experts had lauded the government’s move to increase taxes on tobacco products for the first time in four years. They also shared recommendations for saving millions of lives from the dangers of tobacco.
Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (CTFK) Country Head, Malik Imran Ahmed, said that the tobacco industry tries to manipulate policymakers every year to fill its coffers at the expense of the lives of over 170,000 people who likely die due to diseases caused and aggravated by the use of tobacco products.
He also expressed satisfaction that the government has not listened to the deceptive tactics of the big tobacco industry this year and has raised taxes on tobacco products.
Program Manager SPARC, Khalil Ahmed Dogar, stated that the government should have considered the growing inflation rate while finalizing the taxes on tobacco products for FY2022-23. He mentioned that the prices of tobacco should be raised according to the increased inflation and the hike in the dollar price.
He remarked that although this is a small step, it is in the right direction because the tax on tobacco products will reduce tobacco consumption and its accessibility besides keeping minors off of tobacco.
CEO Chromatic Trust, Shariq Ahmed, stated that Pakistan is facing a severe shortage of funds to combat its poverty crisis. The government needs to remain steadfast to overcome any challenges thrown by the big tobacco industry. Furthermore, the next steps are a strict implementation of laws regarding graphic health warnings, promotion and advertising bans, and smoke-free places.