ISLAMABAD: Contrary to statements of the tobacco company, just around 16 percent of cigarettes consumed in Islamabad are categorized as illegal. Moreover, cigarette smoking is inversely relevant to educational skills and costs in government capital. This has been said in a survey, “The burden of illicit trade in smoking cigarettes in Islamabad” released by Fikr-i-Farda Company at a rural resort.
Mohammad Faisal of the NGO declared the respondents looked like much less knowledgeable ( 65.7pc were matriculated or below ), 25.5pc were ready to stop smoking cigarettes if prices of cigarettes were increased. “Moreover, 36.2pc were of the viewpoint that they would reduce smoking if the cigarette cost was increased. Besides, 1,131 covered by the study smoked 14, 463 tobacco daily. Out of these smokers, 179 were found smoking 2,307 sticks of illicit models and 952 were utilizing 12,156 sticks of legal brands.”
Talking about illicit tobacco, Mr. Faisal declared cigarette brands unsuccessful to comply with the six-factor criteria – pictorial wellness warnings, textual health alert, low cost, age alert, developer information and printing of the selling cost. Out of 15.95pc, only 10.74pc of cigarettes were illicit as smuggled and 5 .2pc cigarettes were illicit as low cost or work not pay ( DNP ). These DNP cigarettes met all the criteria of legitimate brands but were selling at a small cost ( Rs25-40 ).
Parliamentary Secretary Ministry of National Health Services ( NHS ) Dr. Nausheen Hamid said to the competitors that tobacco use was the sole biggest preventable cause of death in the world and in Pakistan tobacco killed around 166,000 people each year. She declared in Pakistan 23.9 million people utilized tobacco in almost any form and the yearly economic cost of smoking was Rs143.208 billion.
“The statement will be helpful in strategizing tobacco control in Pakistan, particularly while using tobacco taxation measures to decrease the requirement for cigarettes.” She expressed full satisfaction over the findings of the study which showed that only 15.95pc of cigarettes consumed in Islamabad in a day were classified as illicit. She declared based on the overblown figures of the illicit trade in cigarettes, the plan of minimizing cigarette costs was launched in the earlier govt.
Globally, the tobacco company lobbies for an amazing tax framework arguing that an improvement in taxes would harm the economy and improve illicit trade. In Pakistan, the company claims that there is 40pc illicit trade. However, proof from this record shows that the burden of illicit trade in cigarettes in Islamabad was almost half than quoted by the tobacco industry.
The record also counters the tobacco industry’s arguments about shifting of cigarette smokers towards cheaper brands if costs improved by showing that 61pc of the smokers would quit or decrease smoking if the cost was improved. Only 8pc of the smokers would opt for less expensive cigarettes if the price was increased. Technical head of Tobacco Control Cell at the ministry of NHS Dr. Ziauddin Islam briefed the competitors about the rational and intended advantages of the study in strategizing tobacco taxation policy reforms in Pakistan.
He said the study would be replicated in all the provincial capitals to make country information. “Though the tobacco industry claims that in case of the rise in costs, people would opt for less costly and more hazardous cigarettes, it is interesting to know that people would either stop or reduce smoking.
This record will play an important role in policy making,” he said. Meanwhile, Pakistan Islamic Medical Association ( PIMA ), Pakistan Chest Society and other health care organizations have announced to observe Ramazan 1 as the National No-Tobacco Day. PIMA President Prof Mohammad Afzal Mian in a statement declared Ramazan presented a blessed atmosphere in which accepting a good habit and quitting a bad one became relatively simpler.
A lot of fasting smokers cut down on their tobacco usage substantially in Ramazan which is why this period can be used to urge smokers to take another step and quit altogether.