Pakistan National Heart Association General Secretary and Director Operations Sana Ullah Ghumman said that tobacco industry is misleading the youth and the government in the name of the Better Pakistan campaign.
The campaign overestimated the share of illicit trade in order to avoid any tax increase. According to independent study conducted by York University in 2020, illicit trade share is only 10% of the total market. There is no evidence behind the “Rs.70 billion” loss that the industry claims in this campaign.
Sana Ullah Ghumman said that as a signatory of World Health Organisation’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control the government must not forget its obligations to protect its citizens and be mindful of such misleading campaigns led by the industry. More than 170,000 people die each year from tobacco-related diseases.
Chairperson Nation Development Organization Tehseen Fawad, Representative of Sparc Khalil Ahmad, Naveed Abbasi Other participants in the press conference said that tobacco is a major cause of heart and other deadly diseases including cancer.
The tobacco industry has launched a Better Pakistan campaign to mislead the younger generation and the government, so that more people can become targets of the tobacco industry.
They said that the tobacco industry says that Pakistan is facing a loss of Rs 70 billion annually on the sale of counterfeit cigarettes, but the facts are the opposite.
Young generation is an invaluable asset of our nation and their health and future should never be allowed to play.