Stakeholders at a policy dialogue expressed deep worry about the growing number of cigarette smokers in the country and requested the government to boost tobacco costs by 30%, arguing that this would dramatically reduce smoking, particularly among young.
The Society for the Protection of Children’s Rights organised a policy conversation on cigarette taxes (SPARC).
Malik Imran Ahmad, Country Head of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, informed the media that smoking is a silent killer in our culture, with a total of 29 million current smokers. Each year, 170,000 people die as a result of tobacco-related ailments. Tobacco, in addition to being a lethal chemical, imposes a health impact of Rs615 billion in lost productivity and tobacco-related disorders, despite the tobacco industry’s income of just Rs120 billion. To alleviate this cost, higher cigarette taxes are required. Unfortunately, no tax increases have been possible in the previous three years. He stated that raising cigarette prices is the most effective approach for reducing use and raising revenue for the government.
He believes that Pakistan should boost cigarette excise prices by at least 30% in order to reduce cigarette usage and enhance tobacco income.