Lahore—“No Tobacco day” is being observed all over the world, according to World Health Organization (WHO) Tobacco kills nearly six million people each year out of which almost 600,000 die from second-hand smoke.
There were 30 million tobacco smokers in Pakistan and 110,000 people died annually because of it. The tobacco epidemic is one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced, killing around 6 million people a year.
More than 5 million of those deaths are the result of direct tobacco use while more than 600 000 are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke. Nearly 80% of the more than 1 billion smokers worldwide live in low- and middle-income countries, where the burden of tobacco-related illness and death is heaviest.
According to a report of a nonprofit organization “The Network for Consumer protection “reveals that, Pakistanis bought a whopping 64.5 billion cigarettes spending a sum of Rs 250 billion during the fiscal year 2013-14 alone. As a result annually around Rs 50 billion were added to the national exchequer which made up 4.4 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
It says as many as 500,000 outlets sell tobacco products with an estimated annual income of Rs 12 billion. It says Pakistan’s tobacco market was worth Rs 257,545.9 million in 2013, with an expected cumulative annual growth rate 7.8 percent between 2008 and 2013.
Pakistan itself among the top 15 countries in tobacco production and consumption and 7th largest Flue Cured Virginia (FCV) tobacco product in the world. 1200 children initiate smoking daily its mean 2 in 5 smokers initiated cigarette smoking before the age of 10, while 34 % children aged 13-15 are exposed to second –hand smoke at public places. Report further says almost 60 % of tobacco leaf produced in Pakistan in used to manufacture cigarettes.