Tobacconomics released the first edition of the International Cigarette Tax Scorecard, assessing the performance of cigarette tax policies in over 170 countries including in which Pakistan was one of the lowest scoring countries in the region. Tobacconomics is based at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Institute for Health Research and Policy, conducts economic research to update and shape fiscal policies for health globally.
Malik Imran Ahmed, Country Head Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids (CTFK) Pakistan, shared that the Tobacconomics scorecard evaluates countries’ cigarette tax policies based on international best practice from past 30 years, using data from the World Health Organization from 2014-2018.
He further said that Pakistan got an overall score of 0.88 out of 5 possible points, which is lower than the South-East Asia average (1.82), global average (2.07), and also scores of top performing countries (4.63).Pakistan has one of the highest health burdens of tobacco in the region, which is estimated to be about Rs. 193 billion. Higher tobacco taxes are imperative to mitigate the health cost incurred by tobacco.