Amendment in the Prohibition of Sale of Cigarettes to Minors Rules, 2010

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Amendment in the Prohibition of Sale of Cigarettes to Minors Rules, 2010

Amendment in the Prohibition of Sale of Cigarettes to Minors Rules, 2010: Pakistan is  high on tobacco-use country implementing several of the best buy (MPOWER) measures to reduce tobacco use. Based on World Health Organization’s (WHO) 2013 standardized estimate of smoking popularity, 31.8 % of men, 5.8 % of women, and 19.1% of Pakistan’s adult population currently use tobacco in one form or another. Among youth, 13.3 % of boys, 6.6 % of girls and 10.7 % of all youth currently use tobacco or a tobacco product. Global Youth Tobacco Survey 2013 revealed that among current cigarette smokers who bought cigarettes, 44.9% were not prevented from buying them because of their age.

Keeping in view the hazards of smoking, Ministry of National Health Services and Regulations has made an amendment in the “Prohibition of sale of cigarettes to Minors Rules”, 2010. In order to discourage cigarette smoking especially in youth, federal cabinet has approved a ban on the sale of open cigarettes. However, the decision does not imply on the sale of cigarettes packets that are sealed.

Amendment in the Prohibition of Sale of Cigarettes to Minors Rules, 2010
Amendment in the Prohibition of Sale of Cigarettes to Minors Rules, 2010

In tobacco industry, retailers are the main beneficiary of the loose cigarette sale as it earned them more money than selling a full pack. One open cigarette costs Rs. 8 whereas the whole pack is sold for Rs. 135 of a popular brand.

This Amendment in the form of loose cigarettes ban and to regulate the sale of cigarette needs effective and serious implementation with an addition of increased tax on the price of cigarettes packs, prohibition of underage sale, an increased in Graphic Health Warning (GHW) on cigarette packaging and a comprehensive ban on any form of advertising, promotion and sponsorship of Tobacco products, suggested by health experts. They also asked for imposing a complete ban on the point of sale advertisements which are the root cause of demand generation for tobacco in youth and are mainly targeting children.

Pakistan has introduced textual warning on cigarette packets in 1979. The Prohibition of Smoking Ordinance was passed in 2002 and the textual warning was improved. In 2005, Pakistan became Party to the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC).

Facts on Pakistan Tobacco Consumption as per Ministry of Health Pakistan

Pakistan was ranked 54th amongst 84 countries with high prevalence of tobacco smoking. Almost 24 million (19.1%) adults currently used tobacco in any form in Pakistan. That accounted for 15.6 million (12.4%) adults, who currently smoked tobacco and another 9.6 million (7.7%) adults, who used smokeless tobacco (Global Adult Tobacco Survey, 2014).

5,000 Pakistanis were admitted to hospitals every day because of diseases caused by tobacco use, according to Pakistan Health Education Survey, 1999. Tobacco is a cause of death of around 160,189 persons every year. Moreover, the economic cost of smoking amounted to 143.208 billion rupees.

Pakistan has one of the largest tobacco consuming populations in the world with some 20.1 million people using tobacco in the country. Tobacco related deaths are 11% of all deaths in the country. Cigarettes are the most used form of tobacco with 85% people using tobacco by smoking. There is a 10.7% rate of tobacco use among the youth.

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