Illegal sales and promotion

Illegal cigarette brands are breaking the law despite the government’s ban on advertising and reward schemes for cigarette sales. These illicit cigarettes are being sold at much lower prices than the government’s regulated minimum price. They also lack health warnings on the packaging. A recent market survey discovered that tobacco companies in major cities across the country are openly using advertisements and rewards to lure customers. The Statutory Regulatory Orders issued by the federal government strictly prohibit the promotion and advertisement of cigarettes through mass media. This includes posters displayed inside and outside shops as well as other digital advertisements. Despite these regulations, no action has been taken against the violators by the district administration and provincial governments. This has increased the illegal trade of tobacco. These violations pose significant challenges to the government’s health policy and result in substantial losses to the national exchequer. The government must rigorously enforce the laws and crack down on companies and vendors involved in the illicit trade of cigarettes and advertising violations.
Usama Ghulam Rasool

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