Healthcare activists urge immediate implementation of tobacco health levy in Pakistan

Delay in implementing the Tobacco Health Levy is a missed chance for Pakistan, they say

ISLAMABAD  -  Health activists emphasized the urgent need for the implementa­tion of the Tobacco Health Levy in Pakistan, a measure that has been pending since 2019. The levy, if ex­ecuted in a timely manner, could have generated an additional rev­enue of 250 billion Pakistani Ru­pees for the national exchequer. This substantial amount could have been utilized to enhance healthcare infrastructure and sus­tain efforts in tobacco control.

Dr. Khalil Ahmad Dogar, Pro­gram Manager at SPARC, said that the Tobacco Health Levy, pending since 2019, presents a crucial op­portunity for Pakistan to bolster its healthcare infrastructure and fortify the ongoing efforts in to­bacco control. The potential addi­tional revenue of 250 billion Ru­pees could significantly contribute to the betterment of public health, particularly for our children. 

It is imperative that the caretak­er government takes swift action and moves towards the immediate implementation of this bill.

Malik Imran Ahmed, Country Director at Campaign for Tobac­co Free Kids, stated that the de­lay in implementing the Tobacco Health Levy is a missed chance for Pakistan to address critical public health concerns and generate sub­stantial revenue for the nation­al exchequer. With the potential to inject 250 billion Rupees into healthcare and tobacco control ef­forts, this levy could pave the way for a healthier future. We urge the caretaker government to seize this opportunity and prioritize the im­mediate implementation of the Tobacco Health Levy.

He further urged the govern­ment to consider the immense benefits that the timely implemen­tation of the Tobacco Health Levy can bring to the nation’s health and economy. This will send a much-needed message to the gen­eral public that the government remains committed to the protec­tion of children’s rights and the improvement of public health in Pakistan.

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