Selected  news items published in different newspapers during June 2020 to November 2020

Speakers stress lifestyle changes to reduce incidence of lung cancer

KARACHI: Lung Cancer Awareness Month is celebrated in November with the aim of achieving better results for patients by raising the noise level of awareness about lung cancer and its harms. Dr Abdul Qayyum, consultant oncologist at the Ziauddin Hospital, highlighted the many risk factors to be aware of in order to detect lung cancer at the earliest stage possible. “As the most common cancer type across the globe, lung cancer impacts approximately 2.1 million…

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Speakers stress lifestyle changes to reduce incidence of lung cancer
Study Reveals How Smoking Worsens COVID-19 Infection Airways

Study Reveals How Smoking Worsens COVID-19 Infection Airways

ISLAMABAD, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 19th Nov, 2020 ) :Researchers using a model of airway tissue created from human stem cells have pinpointed how smoking cigarettes causes more severe infection by SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, in the airways of the lungs. The study, published in the journal Cell Stem Cell, will help researchers better understand Covid-19 risks for smokers and could inform the development of new therapeutic strategies to…

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Black market sale of cigarettes causes Rs77.3bn damage to exchequer

ISLAMABAD: Black market cigarettes sales resulted in tax evasion of Rs77.3 billion Pakistan during the fiscal year 2019-20, a representative of Pakistan Tobacco Company (PTC) said on Thursday. The counterfeit cigarette trade has also increased to approximately 2.75 billion sticks per annum. Illicit cigarettes accounted for 37.6 per cent of total consumption in Pakistan in March 2020 compared to 31.5 per cent just from a year earlier. Sources within the industry claimed that a number…

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Black market sale of cigarettes causes Rs77.3bn damage to exchequer
Awareness Of Lung Disease Stressed On ‘World COPD Day’

Awareness Of Lung Disease Stressed On ‘World COPD Day’

ISLAMABAD, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 18th Nov, 2020 ) :Health experts on Wednesday urged physicians and media to join hands for increasing better awareness to prevent Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease(COPD) as it is currently the third leading cause of death globally and smoking was the root cause of this disease, so it should be addressed. Talking to a private news channel, a senior Pulmonologist Professor Dr Anjum Naveed mentioned that World…

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Lack of exit strategies for current smokers fueling tobacco epidemic

Islamabad:Nearly 8 million people die from smoking-related diseases every year and a projected 1 billion people will die from smoking-related diseases by 2100. The primary aim of tobacco control should be to offer suitable exit strategies to current smokers. Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR) should be properly defined by parties to the Framework Convention for Tobacco Control (FCTC) to sit alongside demand and supply reduction, recommends the Global State of Tobacco Harm Reduction 2020. Titled ‘Burning…

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Lack of exit strategies for current smokers fueling tobacco epidemic
PM Imran Khan pushed for intervention in cigarette health levy

PM Imran Khan pushed for intervention in cigarette health levy

Islamabad : Speakers during a policy dialogue on tobacco taxation in the country on Saturday urged the prime minister to intervene for the imposition of health levy on cigarettes. The event was organised by the Society for Protection of Rights of the Child at a local hotel. SPARC Executive Director Sajjad Ahmed Cheema said in June 2019, the federal cabinet had decided to implement a healthy levy on tobacco products but the bill meant to…

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Economic burden of smoking crossed Rs190b in 2018

Islamabad : Pakistan endured an economic burden to the tune of Rs192 billion ($13 billion) on account of smoking related illnesses during 2018, states a recent study published as preprint on Medrix—a webpage for scientific articles. Titled ‘Estimates of economic burden due to smoking attributed illnesses,’ the study provides an opportunity to assess the overall impact of smoking on the economy and generate evidence for public health policy interventions for tobacco control. The study was…

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Economic burden of smoking crossed Rs190b in 2018
E-cigs May Be ‘gateway’ To Cigarettes For Teens: Study

E-cigs May Be ‘gateway’ To Cigarettes For Teens: Study

ISLAMABAD, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 9th Nov, 2020 ) :A new study, published in the journal Pediatrics, finds that e-cigarette use is associated with a higher risk of cigarette smoking among adolescents who had no prior intention of taking up conventional smoking. These findings have strong implications for practice and policy, researches said. Cigarette smoking remains a leading preventable cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States. And while adolescent…

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Government should save youth from use of tobacco

Rawalpindi - The government should take the application of health levy seriously so that the young generation is protected from the harmful effects of tobacco and sugary drinks, Sanaullah Ghumman, General Secretary, Pakistan National Heart Association (PANAH) said on Thursday. He said that the increase of tobacco use among women in the next five years is painful. Today’s girl is tomorrow’s mother. Panah has always drawn the attention of the government to the causes of…

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Government should save youth from use of tobacco
In The Spotlight: A Smoke-Free Future

In The Spotlight: A Smoke-Free Future

In past years, idea of smoke-free environment has taken center stage. companies are joining to educate the benefits of a cleaner tomorrow. In the past couple of years, the idea of a smoke-free environment has taken center stage. More and more companies are joining hands with civic movements to educate the masses about the benefits of a cleaner tomorrow. One of the main, and often underestimated, threats to the environment is the harmful smoke produced…

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Global review of use of e-cigarettes as anti-smoking aid sparks debate

Islamabad : Even though a belated development, medical professionals and representatives of tobacco control entities in Pakistan have finally broken the silence around whether e-cigarettes (ECs) should be promoted as effective anti-smoking aids for smokers attempting to quit. The impetus to discuss the use of ECs for smoking cessation—a subject mired in controversy—came from the recently released Cochrane Review which provides “moderate-certainty evidence” that nicotine containing ECs are 70% more effective in supporting smokers to…

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Global review of use of e-cigarettes as anti-smoking aid sparks debate
‘Smoke Free Pakistan’ Mobile Application Inaugurated

‘Smoke Free Pakistan’ Mobile Application Inaugurated

SIALKOT, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 24th Oct, 2020 ) :Additional Deputy Commissioner Sialkot Farooq Akmal inaugurated 'Smoke Free Pakistan' mobile application on smoking violations, here on Saturday. The 'Smoke Free Pakistan' mobile application was inaugurated in a meeting of the 'Tobacco Control Task Force' held at the Deputy Commissioner's Office. This mobile application has been provided on Google which will not only be able to take a picture of the violators…

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Tobacco Harm Reduction

Tobacco harm reduction (THR) is a health strategy implemented to curtail the risks associated with tobacco products to users and society at large. The concept of THR dates back to 1976 when Professor Michael Russell, also considered the father of tobacco harm reduction, stated that people smoke for nicotine but they die from the tar. Russell’s advocacy that the ratio of tar to nicotine could be the key to a less harmful smoking experience has…

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Tobacco Harm Reduction
Will Pakistan’s tobacco traceability odyssey finally come to an end?

Will Pakistan’s tobacco traceability odyssey finally come to an end?

In the light of extensive links between Big Tobacco and legislative processes, there’s little reason to wonder why the government’s previous attempts to install a tracking system have been so notoriously opaque and dysfunctional Pakistan is bracing for the second wave of the coronavirus as the number of active cases rapidly increases. October 19th saw an increase of 567 infections, bringing the country’s total to more than 323,000. A week earlier, the percentage of positive…

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Tobacco control efforts eclipsed by lack of policy

Islamabad : Even though some cosmetic measures are in place to encourage smokers to quit, Pakistan’s overall progress in terms of implementation of tobacco cessation interventions is, at best, sluggish. It is time the government allocates funds for sustainable implementation of tobacco control laws and announces the much-delayed National Tobacco Control Policy so that well-directed efforts can be made to control the rising incidence of smoking. What further evidence can the government require for adoption…

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Tobacco control efforts eclipsed by lack of policy
Why Very Few Smokers Quit Smoking In Pakistan?

Why Very Few Smokers Quit Smoking In Pakistan?

Even though some cosmetic measures are in place to encourage smokers to quit, Pakistan’s overall progress in terms of implementation of tobacco cessation interventions is, at best, sluggish. It is time the government allocates funds for sustainable implementation of tobacco control laws and announces the much-delayed National Tobacco Control Policy so that well-directed efforts can be made to control the rising incidence of smoking. What further evidence can the government require for adoption of aggressive…

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Cancer on the rise

THE findings of a recent study conducted by the Dow University of Health Sciences have revealed that cancer of the gastrointestinal tract is on the rise in Karachi. This might not just be a coincidence, as the study indicates — Karachi is also the city with the highest prevalence of oral cancer in the country. According to researchers, this rise can be attributed to the growing use of tobacco products (one of the main causes…

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Cancer on the rise
Sedentary lifestyle, growing incidence of smoking resulting in heart attacks, deaths among young Pakistanis: experts

Sedentary lifestyle, growing incidence of smoking resulting in heart attacks, deaths among young Pakistanis: experts

An alarming increase in the incidence of cardiovascular diseases has been witnessed over the last few years in Pakistan, where young people between 30 and 40 years have started dying due to heart ailments, said experts said on Tuesday. Around 30 to 40 per cent of all deaths were occurring due to heart and cardiovascular illnesses in Pakistan, they added. “Cardiovascular disease has become the most common cause of death in Pakistan and now people…

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Tobacco industry not doing enough for transition to reduced-risk alternatives

Islamabad : The tobacco industry is not phasing out cigarettes or transitioning smokers to reduced-risk alternatives quickly enough, states the first-ever Tobacco Transformation Index launched by the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World (FSFW). As a tool designed to accelerate the reduction of harm caused by tobacco use, the index is a comprehensive evaluation of the 15 largest tobacco companies and their respective sales, investments, and strategies related to the transition away from combustible cigarettes and…

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Tobacco industry not doing enough for transition to reduced-risk alternatives
Going smoke-free

Going smoke-free

Amid the horrible numbers of a global pandemic that has taken nearly one million lives, it’s easy to forget that eight times more people will die from tobacco-related diseases this year, and for years to come. Just as Covid-19 has forced us all to make hard health choices, it’s time to start making hard choices about the smoking epidemic, too. I have been an anti-tobacco activist for much of my professional life. I am an…

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‘Pakistan Has Around 20 million Underage Smokers’

Parliamentary secretary for Ministry of Health says a ‘smoke-free’ country can only be achieved through strict enforcement of regulations There are an estimated 20 million underage smokers across Pakistan, and it is estimated that around 1,200 children between the ages of 6 and 15 start smoking in the country daily, Dr. Nausheen Hamid, the parliamentary secretary for the Ministry of Health, said on Wednesday. Addressing a seminar organized by the Society for Protection of Rights…

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‘Pakistan Has Around 20 million Underage Smokers’
50% of global combustible cigarette market controlled by governments

50% of global combustible cigarette market controlled by governments

Islamabad : Nearly 50% of the global combustible cigarette market is controlled by governments that claim commitment to the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), which seeks to protect present and future generations from the devastating health, social, environmental and economic consequences of tobacco consumption and exposure, reveals new research. Titled ‘Contradictions and Conflicts,’ the report identifies contradictions between governments’ fiduciary responsibility to maximize state monopoly profitability and their health responsibility…

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Smoking, vaping and second-hand smoke may ALL raise COVID-19 risks, studies suggest

Smoking may alter genes in a way that creates more cellular entry points for coronavirus, new research suggests. Australian scientists found that smoking just three cigarettes can trigger a flurry of increased activity in the part of the genome that codes for a protein known as ACE2. The protein lies on the surface of many different types of cells in the human body, including in the nose, lungs and blood vessels. ACE2 is like the…

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Smoking, vaping and second-hand smoke may ALL raise COVID-19 risks, studies suggest
Time ripe for inclusion of harm reduction in tobacco control policy

Time ripe for inclusion of harm reduction in tobacco control policy

Islamabad : With the draft National Tobacco Control Policy in the process of being finalized, the time is just right for Pakistan to incorporate the concept of harm reduction as a key component of the policy, thereby enabling smokers to quit or to switch over to alternatives that are proven to be less damaging than combustible cigarettes. Even though the World Health Organization (WHO) and donor agencies supporting Pakistan in its fight against tobacco use…

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Philip Morris Pakistan : plans to launch heated tobacco device in Pakistan

Philip Morris (Pakistan) Limited (PMPKL), which posted an operating loss before tax of Rs2.44 billion for the year ended December 31, 2019, intends to introduce an alternative to cigarettes in Pakistan. 'The company's new product, which received a nod from the US authorities last year, can be introduced in Pakistan as well if the government allows and makes the required legislation,' said PMPKL Managing Director Roman Yazbeck while talking to a group of journalists on…

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Philip Morris Pakistan : plans to launch heated tobacco device in Pakistan
Opening of first private tobacco cessation clinic soon

Opening of first private tobacco cessation clinic soon

Islamabad : The Ministry of National Health Services will provide progressive support to The Diabetes Centre (TDC) for establishment of the first tobacco cessation clinic in the private sector as part of the larger objective of rescuing the country’s next generation from the scourge of smoking. Formalising the arrangement, a Letter of Intent (LoI) was signed between TDC and the Ministry of Health here Wednesday. The signing ceremony also featured the declaration of TDC as…

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Minister wants educational institutions to be smoke free

ISLAMABAD: A meeting chaired by Federal Minister for Narcotics Control Mohammad Azam Khan Swati on Monday recommended that all educational institutions in Islamabad should be declared smoke-free zones. The meeting also recommended that CCTV cameras should be installed in all the educational institutions. Besides, the meeting called for healthcare standard operating procedures (SOPs) for schools, colleges and universities. There should also be awareness programmes for students and teachers to eliminate the menace of drugs in…

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Minister wants educational institutions to be smoke free
Policy urged to make youth aware of smoking’s harmful effects

Policy urged to make youth aware of smoking’s harmful effects

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is one of the 15 largest users of tobacco in the world. Every hour, 12 Pakistanis die of heart attacks largely due to smoking. Moreover, over 50 chemicals used in cigarettes and other tobacco used for smoking cause cancer. As many as 438 people lose their lives every day due to tobacco use, said speakers at a seminar organised by Pakistan National Heart Association (Panah) on Thursday. Retired Major General Masoodur Rehman Kayani,…

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Vaping linked to risk of Covid-19 in teens, young adults

Vaping may be associated with a five to seven times increased risk of Covid-19 among US teenagers and young adults, a study published on Tuesday suggests. Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine analyzed nationally representative survey data collected in May from 4,351 participants aged 13–24 years. The findings were published in the Journal of Adolescent Health. “Young people may believe their age protects them from contracting the virus or that they will not…

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Vaping linked to risk of Covid-19 in teens, young adults
Covid-19 and Pakistan’s raging NCD crisis

Covid-19 and Pakistan’s raging NCD crisis

As the world scrambles to contain the Covid-19 pandemic, the most devastating infectious disease outbreak to hit the world in decades, the crisis has revealed a great deal about the gaps in our economic and health systems. At the same time, in the choice of its victims, the virus has also revealed another health crisis raging world over — that of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). The evidence emerging from the pandemic makes one thing clear —…

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E-cigarettes

This refers to the article, ‘Government urged to ban sale of e-cigarettes’ (July 16). The argument given is that they are bad for you and are impractical and a deficit to improve the local health sphere. The article also lauds India for their supposed ban on e-cigarettes. A mere Google search reveals that Modi’s decision to ban them has actually had a counter-effect. Like Pakistan, enforcement is weak and deters only legit players. Today paan…

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E-cigarettes
‘Senate House’ cigarette packs distributed among MPs

‘Senate House’ cigarette packs distributed among MPs

ISLAMABAD: The cigarette packets titled “Senate House” have been distributed among senators last week. These cigarette packets have been specially prepared by a senator, who happens to be a local cigarette manufacturer, and given free to different senators. These packets are designed with no health warning and with the “Government of Pakistan” emblem on the top and “Senate House” written below. In Pakistan, special crested cigarettes are made only pursuant to Federal Excise Rules 2005,…

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‘Harm reduction, cessation should be part of tobacco control policies’

Islamabad : The Pakistan Alliance for Nicotine and Tobacco Harm Reduction (PANTHR) has called for making harm reduction and cessation part of the national tobacco control policies to reduce the prevalence of smoking in the country. “Two research studies have highlighted the effective role tobacco harm reduction and cessation strategies can play in achieving the objectives of FCTC and reducing combustible smoking,” said Arshad Ali Syed, Project Director of PANTHR. Smoking cessation is completely missing…

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‘Harm reduction, cessation should be part of tobacco control policies’
Heat not burn: breaking the bad habit

Heat not burn: breaking the bad habit

Combustion is the process of burning something, and it requires three elements: a fuel source, like tobacco; oxygen, found in air; and enough heat to kickstart the self-sustaining, heat-generating reaction. During combustion, in ideal conditions, hydrocarbons and oxygen react to form carbon dioxide and water. In more realistic settings, for example in combusted cigarettes, there is not enough oxygen available for complete combustion to occur. Incomplete combustion leads to the production of carbon monoxide and…

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Ban on E-cigarettes in Pakistan requested to ensure youth from its harmful impacts

General Secretary, Pakistan National Heart Association (PANAH) Sana Ullah Ghuman said that the effects of E-cigarettes on the human body are more dangerous than smoking. In a statement issued on Thursday, Sana Ullah Ghuman said that the use of E-cigarettes causes various diseases in the human body, including heart, respiratory, cancer, lung and kidney diseases, despite the opinion of all medical experts and modern research coming to light. According to research, the number of vaping…

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Ban on E-cigarettes in Pakistan requested to ensure youth from its harmful impacts
Heated tobacco devices likely to be introduced in Pakistan; companies seek regulations

Heated tobacco devices likely to be introduced in Pakistan; companies seek regulations

ISLAMABAD: While the concerned regulatory authorities are yet to formulate a policy regarding cigarette alternatives, the marketing of e-cigarettes has already started in various parts of the country. Keeping in view the growing demand for less harmful tobacco products, big tobacco companies in the country are also planning to introduce the latest heated tobacco devices in the country, sources in the tobacco industry informed this scribe. They said many tobacco stores in Pakistan are directly selling…

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Govt urged to ban sale of e-cigarettes

Islamabad : Use of Electronic cigarettes, commonly known as e-cigarettes and vaping devices, are on the rise among the youth of Pakistan, which leads to a new epidemic of tobacco addiction. This was stated by Azhar Saleem, CEO, Human Development Foundation (HDF), in online media session. He said e-cigarettes are promoted as a safe alternative option compared to traditional cigarette for quitting smoking. However, the irony is that instead of being an aid for quitting…

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Govt urged to ban sale of e-cigarettes
How a rift in Pakistan’s tobacco industry determines how cigarettes are taxed and not the government

How a rift in Pakistan’s tobacco industry determines how cigarettes are taxed and not the government

Every year, a few months before the budget, the news media is flooded with stories about tobacco. On one side, there are news stories, advertisements, and opinions on the dangers of tobacco smoking. Seminars on the harmful nature of smoking followed by lavish spreads are conducted in large hotels. On the other, multinational tobacco companies also ramp up their PR drives, with top executives regularly giving interviews, and companies releasing reports and studies detailing the…

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Tobacco control advocates urge govt to increase FED, implement surcharge on tobacco products

Islamabad: Tobacco control advocates on Thursday appreciated the government for not succumbing to the pressure from tobacco industry and retaining the two tier structure for tobacco taxation in the current pre-budget time period. In an online media session, CEO Human Development Foundation (HDF) Azhar Saleem appreciated the steps taken by government for tobacco control. He appreciated that the government stayed true to its commitment of keeping public health a priority. Senator Muhammad Ali Khan Saif…

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Tobacco control advocates urge govt to increase FED, implement surcharge on tobacco products
Smoking puts you at greater risk of coronavirus: researcher

Smoking puts you at greater risk of coronavirus: researcher

Covid-19 may develop more vigorously in the smokers as compared to the nonsmokers. It has been observed during the research activity that there are very obnoxious chemicals present in the cigarette smoke. “Regular smoking damages the defense cells in the respiratory tract. SARS -COV-19 can travel without any resistance to the lungs for the deadliest form of the disease in such cases,” claimed a medical researcher here on Thursday. Dr. Ayub Jadoon Assistant Professor Immunology…

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Smoking: engage, not stigmatize, the youth

Most low-income countries including Pakistan continue to face increasing burden of tobacco epidemic with a current cigarette smoking prevalence of 15.2% among adults and 6.3% among youth. Unfortunately, due to the current approach of shunning smokers or labeling a teenager who smokes as a ‘bad person’ alienates them more, risking isolation and further increase in consumption of tobacco in the country. Teenage is a critical period when the risks associated with tobacco use are particularly…

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Smoking: engage, not stigmatize, the youth
Govt must discourage import of cigarettes, ban e-cigarettes

Govt must discourage import of cigarettes, ban e-cigarettes

As the country is producing more tobacco in 2020 than 2019, the government must discourage unbridled import of cigarettes and tobacco. Pakistan Tobacco Board (PTB) has estimated increase in the production of flue cured Virginia, dark cured Virginia, dark cured Rustika and white patta. The PTB has projected 6.5 percent increase in output of flue cured Virginia tobacco, 3.7 percent increase in dark cured Virginia and 24 percent growth in production of white patta this…

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Anti-tobacco campaigners challenge industry figures

The government of Pakistan is announcing its budget for the next fiscal year within days and no doubt these are one of the toughest times for this exercise. The spread of the new coronovirus has posed tough challenges for the ruling dispensation related especially to the health and safety of its citizens and the economy of the country. This is also the time when different business and industrial sectors share recommendations with the government and…

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Anti-tobacco campaigners challenge industry figures