Tobacco and Naswar Prices Skyrocket After KP Budget 2022-23

The Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) presented a budget of Rs. 1.332 trillion for the fiscal year 2022-2023 on Monday, which included an increase in the tobacco and naswar (snuff) tax across the province.

It has increased the tobacco tax up to Rs. 12 per kg and has taxed naswar at Rs. 5 per kg, and the tax collection target in KP’s 2022-23 budget has been increased to Rs. 75 billion from Rs. 31 billion.

Naswar is widely used in KP on a daily basis. It is easily available throughout the province and particularly in the newly merged tribal districts.

According to a study published in the Oxford Journal of Public Health, naswar is smokeless tobacco (ST) that contains powdered tobacco, slaked lime, and indigo. Users either sniff it or place a pinch of it under their tongues or against the inside of their cheeks.

“It has a high pH and contains unionized nicotine and carcinogenic — likely to cause cancer — tobacco,” as per the study.