Small cigarette packs can increase health costs: Experts

ISLAMABAD   -  Health activists, while expressing profound concern over the recent efforts to introduce 10-stick ciga­rette packs in markets, have said that it will not only jeopardize the progress made in tobacco control but will also directly impact chil­dren and low-income individuals, who are most vulnerable to the harmful effects of tobacco con­sumption.

Country Head, Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, Malik Imran Ahmed said on Tuesday that the 10-stick cigarette packs by certain groups are deeply troubling.

He said, “Many countries in the world have banned single-stick and small-stick packet sales be­cause they’re easier to purchase for children, youth, and low-in­come groups, and hence the health burden is very high.”

He said, “If 10-packet cigarettes are allowed for export, there’s a sol­id chance that the tobacco sector will sell them in the local market.”

SPARC’s Program Manager, Dr. Khalil Ahmad Dogar, was of the view that with approximately 31.9 mil­lion adults aged 15 years and above are reported as current tobacco us­ers, constituting nearly 19.7% of the adult population, the dire con­sequences of tobacco consumption extend far beyond individual health.

He urged the government to take proactive measures to protect public health and prevent the ex­ploitation of children and low-in­come groups by the tobacco indus­try. We call upon the authorities to reject any proposals that endan­ger the health and well-being of our citizens.

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