It is heartening to see that the government of Pakistan has finally decided to impose a healthy levy on cigarettes and other types of tobacco products in the country. In 2012, about one billion cigarettes were consumed in Pakistan. Every year the sale of cigarettes increases across the county. The availability of cheap cigarettes allows young people to develop the injurious habit of smoking. Smoking is the single largest cause of lethal diseases. It is estimated that some 75, 000 persons using tobacco die at a young age every year in Pakistan, while the health of millions remains at great risk. Due to huge revenues earned on cigarettes and tobacco, the past government remained insensitive and indifferent to the hazards of smoking. The government’s decision to adopt policy measures to check smoking is a step in the right direction.
Murwarid Nazir Ahmed