The Human Development Foundation (HDF) spokesperson has stated that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government’s decision to levy a special ‘sin tax’ on tobacco products to discourage smoking in the country is a historic decision.

Federal National Health Services Minister Aamer Mehmood Kiani had recently stated that the government was sending a sin tax bill in the National Assembly (NA) in which, taxes would be imposed on cigarettes and tobacco products.

National Health Services Director Dr Asad Hafiz has stated that the departments like NHS and other welfare institutions had already given recommendation to the government of imposing a ‘sin tax’ on cigarettes and added that the government took good step for the betterment of health.

He stated that currently, the ‘sin tax’ implemented in 45 countries and countries like Philippines, UK and Saudi Arabia were included in it. He stated that Rs 140 billion was annually spent on the diseases related to tobacco products. According to a survey, more than 177 million cigarettes are consumed every day in Pakistan that causes some 108,800 fatalities every year.

Pakistan would impose a ‘sin tax’ on cigarettes after many countries. In 2012, the Philippines government imposed this tax to raise revenues and discourage smoking, which kills nearly 88,000 each year in the country according to the World Health Organization (WHO) data.