Civil society concerned over reports of legalising e-cigarettes in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD     -           The Coalition for Tobacco Control-Pakistan (CTC-Pak) and other tobacco control organisations have expressed their concerns and utter disappointment on the steps being taken by the government to legalise heated tobacco products particularly e-cigarettes in Pakistan. It said that the product is against the protocols of FCTC. Being the signatory of the FCTC, issuing SRO regarding e-cigarettes would be in violation of international convention protocols for tobacco control, the CTC-Pak added. Project coordinator Zeeshan Danish in a statement on Friday said that it is ironic that the Ministry of Health instead of focusing on enforcement of tobacco control laws to save public health is facilitating the tobacco industry by disregarding Article 5.2 of the FCTC. Moreover, the ministry did not even consult with the stakeholders while taking measures to legalise heated tobacco products which are already banned in the region. It is surprising that the ministry is trying to reverse the country’s two-decade efforts and achievements regarding tobacco control. Tobacco control advocates urged upon the ministry of health that instead of facilitating the tobacco industry, it should focus on the approval of the National Tobacco Control Strategy lying with the ministry for the past many months. They also urged upon the Tobacco Control Cell of the Ministry of Health to play its role and thwart the efforts to spread tobacco products in the country damaging public health.

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