PEW criticises underinvestment in tobacco control

tobacco control
tobacco control

June 03, 2013

The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday asked the incoming government to take serious steps including imposing additional taxes on tobacco industry in the upcoming budget to discourage its growing usage.

Despite all the half-hearted efforts including the Anti-Smoking Ordinance, tobacco use and exposure to second-hand smoke continues to grow and remained the leading preventable cause of death and disease, said Dr Murtaza Mughal, President PEW. It also results in productivity losses especially among the less fortunate people of the society, economic losses and a substantial burden on the health-care system which can be reduced, he said.

Dr Murtaza Mughal suggested that government can slap additional taxes on tobacco industry in the upcoming budget as an effective tobacco control measure which can discourage its use to an extent that it is no longer a significant public health problem.

Authorities can also consider amendment in the existing laws which have not proved very effective to discourage the use of tobacco to reduce illness, disability and deaths. Comprehensive ban on tobacco advertisement and breaking the tobacco marketing network is imperative to save thousands of lives across the country, he said.

Dr Murtaza Mughal said that the undeterred tobacco industry is carrying out hidden promotional activities despite ban while the figures show that banning tobacco advertising and sponsorship is the most cost-effective ways to reduce its demand.

Criticising underinvestment in the tobacco control, he said that for every US $9,100 received in tobacco taxes, only $1 was spent on tobacco control in the low-income countries. Tobacco kills one hundred thousand people in Pakistan annually and left millions affected. Globally it kills some six million people each year including six hundred thousand non-smokers dying by inhaling second-hand smoke.

China has more tobacco consumers than any other country estimated at 301 million; India is second with 275 million users. By 2030 tobacco will kill eight million people per annum majority will be from underdeveloped countries.-PR Source Business Recorder.

 

Published: Zarai Media Team

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