The introduction of a new bill in senate for more restrictions on tobacco can create a negative impact, especially when there are more than 25 laws to curb illegal cigarettes with no implementation.  

As per new reports, more than a billion illegal cigarettes are entering the market in Pakistan every year, which is a failure of authorities who are responsible to control illegal cigarettes. On the other hand, a legal industry with whom almost 35000 farmers are engaged and more than 400000 individuals are directly related, may face very harmful and destructive effects of the new laws. My question is, how can the government impose new restrictions to destroy an industry which has legal justifications to work? According to news reports published in a different newspaper in the past few days, farmers are quite worried about the introduction of a new bill in senate regarding tobacco control and they have decided to resist at all levels.  

I fear a confrontation, which is always against the peace of the country. This attitude of our legislators toward introducing new laws to manage someone else’ agenda is really condemnable. They should use their powers to force relevant authorities for the implementation of existing laws which can bring far better results. Another proposed restriction is on CSRs and the activities of tobacco companies which is beyond understanding, because when the private sector is playing their positive role in the uplift of society, then why are they forced to shut down their positive initiatives? 


Rawalpindi, September 23.