In order to cut the rising tobacco consumption, Pakistan has announced health tax on cigarettes. Every year almost 160,000 Pakistanis die due to smoking. So to discourage cigarette smoking the Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) recommended measures to discourage cigarette smoking.
Rs.10 health tax has been imposed on a pack of 20 cigarette sticks. Also 1% tax is imposed on all beverages. Also, an increase is proposed in the Federal Excise Duty on cigarettes in the upcoming budget. The new tax has been approved by Prime Minister Imran Khan, announcing an end to tax-free cigarette facility to the PM, Chief Ministers, and governors of all the provinces. The aim is to control the use of tobacco.
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Dr Zafar Mirza, the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on NHS said that the government is “firmly committed to its anti-tobacco policy based on Pakistan’s obligations under the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).”
Almost 160,189 people die yearly in Pakistan due to tobacco. Currently, 15.6 million adults smoke in the country. Also, 1200 children between the age of six and 15 start smoking daily.
Dr. Mirza said, “Health is a very high priority for the prime minister and significant efforts have been made for tobacco control in Pakistan like banning the sale of cigarettes in loose form, notifying 60 percent size pictorial health warning on cigarette packs and banning the import of sheesha to save people from deadly tobacco products.”