Pakistan Advocates Higher Tobacco Taxes to Combat Health Threats

Pakistan Advocates Higher Tobacco Taxes to Combat Health Threats

Islamabad, December 5, 2023 – Pakistan has intensified its call for increased taxes on tobacco products, aiming to discourage tobacco use and address the looming threats it poses to public health.

Caretaker Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Murtaza Solangi, emphasized the need for stringent measures, drawing parallels between the dangers of smoking and environmental degradation.

Speaking at an event in Islamabad dedicated to raising awareness among children about the perils of smoking, Minister Solangi underscored the significant impact of tobacco use on human lives. He highlighted the tangible and often devastating effects of smoking, not only on individuals but also on the broader health sector.

“Sustainable development encompasses not only environmental concerns but also the health and well-being of our citizens. Smoking, like environmental degradation, poses a severe threat to human lives,” remarked Minister Solangi during the awareness event.

The Information Minister pointed out that smoking contributes to escalating costs in the health sector, straining resources that could be utilized for other critical healthcare needs. Aligning smoking with other harmful substances, he stressed the importance of highlighting the dangers associated with tobacco use.

“Smoking is a disease that claims one person’s life every six seconds, on average, and kills one in ten persons. The repercussions are not only felt by individuals and their families but also by the healthcare system as a whole,” noted Minister Solangi.

In recognition of the ongoing struggle against smoking and its associated health hazards, the Information Minister paid tribute to those actively involved in combating the tobacco epidemic. He commended the efforts of individuals and organizations working tirelessly to raise awareness and promote healthier lifestyle choices.

Underscoring the urgency of the situation, Minister Solangi advocated for a significant increase in taxes on tobacco products as a crucial deterrent. Higher taxes, he argued, would not only discourage tobacco use but also generate revenue that could be channeled into healthcare initiatives aimed at addressing smoking-related health issues.

The call for higher tobacco taxes aligns with global efforts to curb tobacco consumption, recognizing the direct correlation between pricing and consumption patterns. Studies have consistently shown that increased taxes lead to reduced tobacco use, particularly among vulnerable populations, such as youth.

As Pakistan moves forward with its campaign against tobacco use, the emphasis on taxation as a tool for prevention reflects a comprehensive approach to safeguarding public health and ensuring a healthier future for its citizens. The call for increased taxes on tobacco stands as a pivotal step in the nation’s commitment to creating a smoke-free environment and promoting the well-being of its population.

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