Health Levy Bill imposition can be utilized to improve public health

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Staff Reporter

Human Development Foundation (HDF) held a Seminar on Wednesday which was graced as Chief Guest by Qasim Suri, the Deputy Speaker National Assembly and Nausheen Hamid, Parliamentary Secretary for Health as the guest of honor.
Azhar Saleem, CEO, Human Development Foundation (HDF) stated that Pakistan is among the countries with high tobacco burdens with respect to health. According to Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) lead by World Health Organization (WHO) GATS (2014), 19.1 percent of adults in Pakistan used tobacco in any form, which may translate into a population of over 22 million adults.
Consequently, tobacco related diseases are on the rise and according to an estimate, over 160,000 people die every year from tobacco related diseases.
According to WHO increasing taxes on tobacco is proven to be the most effective policy to decrease the consumption of tobacco. Dr. Shahzad Ali Khan, Director Public Health Program, Health Services Academy stated that Health Levy (globally known as Sin Tax) is an excise tax on socially harmful goods.

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