18pc people quit smoking after cigarette prices raise: Survey

ISLAMABAD  -   Centre for Research and Dialogue (CRD), a Pakistan-based think tank in its recent survey has revealed that following a significant increase in cigarette prices, 18 percent of people in the country have quit smoking which is a good sign towards controlling human diseases.

“High tobacco taxation serves as a vital measure in combating tobacco consumption, as was advocated by the World Health Organisation (WHO),” the survey findings underscored.

The government in recent past has increased Federal Excise Duty (FED) rates after years of stagnation. The policy shift not only safeguards public health but also serves as a fiscal measure to alleviate the economic burden associated with smoking-related healthcare costs, the survey asserts. 

Last year, in February, the Finance (Supplementary) Act of 2023 saw FED rates spike by 146 percent for economy brands and 154 percent for premium brands, marking a significant departure from previous policies.

This strategic decision has already demonstrated tangible outcomes, with cigarette consumption showing a marked decline. The survey findings not only highlight the decline in overall consumption but also reveal a shift in behaviour among smokers.

Around 15 percent of respondents reported reducing their cigarette intake due to the increased prices. This collective response has contributed to an estimated reduction of over 11 billion cigarette sticks in consumption.

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