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Pakistan among 9 poor countries producing 90pc cigarettes for world: Study

Pakistan among 9 poor countries producing 90pc cigarettes for world: Study

LONDON, APR 24 (DNA): Recently unveiled study of London’s Imperial College on smoking titled “Tobacco’s global environment footprint” finds major tobacco production in under-developed countries which is matter of grave concern.

Citing the study, Dr Aftab Madni, Dean of the Indus University said, “Almost 90% of all tobacco production is concentrated in the developing world”.

As per study, out of the 10 tobacco producing countries, nine are developing which include four low-income food deficit countries (LIFDCs). “Pakistan falls in the category of LIFDCs,” he said.

Dr Aftab Madni said concerning was the fact that easy availability of cigarettes has become a cause for these people to fall deeper in poverty.

He said the amount that they spend on buy cigarettes can be spent on food and other essential items. He said Capital Calling has mentioned that there is a need for the country to follow the WHO guidelines taxing tobacco.

The Dean Indus University said similarly PIDE, a government-run research institute, has reported that there are 24 million active smokers in the country.

He said the institute has reviled that, “The total costs attributable to all smoking-related diseases and deaths in Pakistan for 2019 are Rs 615.07 billion ($3.85 billion), and the indirect costs (morbidity and mortality) make up 70 percent of the total cost. The total smoking-attributable costs are 1.6 percent of the GDP, whereas the smoking-attributable costs of cancer, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases are 1.15 percent of the GDP.”

Dr Madni said that according to some reports, 337500 Pakistanis have lost their lives because of smoking.

He said these statistics are reason enough for the government to increase taxes on tobacco products. He also said that Pakistan has lost Rs 567 billion just to facilitate two Multinational Cigarette companies in last seven years.

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