Think-tank cautions on ignoring tobacco health warnings

ISLAMABAD   -   Capital Calling, an Islam­abad-based think tank, has raised alarm against the surge in the campaign to resist the guidelines set by the World Health Organi­zation (WHO) and other in­ternational bodies regard­ing budgetary and other checks on their business.

The think tank stat­ed that the Internation­al Monetary Fund (IMF) has duly recommended to the government that there should be a uniform tax on all cigarettes being man­ufactured in Pakistan, re­gardless of their local or foreign brands.

The ace researcher on anti-smoking, Dr Hassan Shehzad, from IIUI, said that in reality, cigarette prices are lower in Pa­kistan compared to oth­er regional countries. He said there is a direct link between the reduction in smoking and the increase in cigarette prices.

Dr. Shehzad has urged the anti-smoking groups to carry out genuine research as the data they have been presenting to the policy­makers is old, and needs to be re-explored. Similarly, awareness about tobacco is almost non-existent on digital media which is an anachronism in this mod­ern age.

He said it has been ob­served that certain groups are competing with one another to promote smok­ing in society but they come on the same page to influence the government into facilitating their busi­ness, which by and large is a health hazard.

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