Illegal sales of Cigarettes  

The illegal sale of cigarettes in Pakistan is posing a severe threat to public health, nullifying Government’s tobacco control initiatives and denting billions of rupees to the economy by tax evasion. Many illegal cigarettes companies are continuously violating the laws relating to the sale of cigarettes through promotional material, incentives for retailers and reward schemes for consumers not only in far-flung areas but also in big cities across the country. 

These include Karachi, Islamabad, Hyderabad, Sargodha, Sahiwal, Gujranwala, Faisalabad, Multan. As per the statistics of the federal ministry, children and youth between the ages of 6 and 15 are starting to smoke on a daily basis in the country. These alarming statistics prove that tobacco control laws are being openly violated and despite having legal authority, the authorities are not interested in stopping this. Despite the Government’s ban, we see cigarette promotions, and cigarettes being sold to minors at far less than the government’s fixed price. Added to this, there are no health warnings on the packaging.

It is imperative for authorities to crack down against violators of laws and eliminate the illegal sales of cigarettes before it is too late. The government must enforce the implementation of Track & Trace system in illegal cigarette companies in order to prevent tax evasion of Rs 80 billion and to minimize the illegal sale of cigarettes.



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