Pakistan among 9 poor states making 90pc cigarettes for world: Study

ISLAMABAD   -   Showing concern over a recent international study on cigarettes production mostly in poor and under-developed states including Paki­stan, health activists have expressed grave concerns over the increased ratio of tobacco products con­sumption in Pakistan urging the government to en­sure implementation of relevant laws not only to im­prove tax collection but also reduce the health costs.

The study unveiled study of London’s Imperial Col­lege on smoking titled “Tobacco’s global environ­ment footprint” finds major tobacco production in under-developed countries which is matter of grave concern. 

“Almost 90% of all tobacco production is concen­trated in the developing world,” Dr Aftab Madni, Dean of the Indus University, said while commenting on the study.

As per study, out of the 10 tobacco producing coun­tries, nine are developing which include four low-in­come food deficit countries (LIFDCs). “Pakistan falls in the category of LIFDCs,” he said. 

Dr Aftab Madni said easy availability of cigarettes especially to vulnerable groups of the society has be­come a cause for people to fall deeper in poverty. 

He said the amount that they spend on buying ciga­rettes can be spent on food and other essential items.

The Dean Indus University said similarly PIDE, a government-run research institute, has reported that there are 24 million active smokers in the country. 

Dr Madni said that according to some reports, 337500 Pakistanis have lost their lives because of smoking.

He said these statistics are reason enough for the government to increase taxes on tobacco products.

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