Pakistan facing Rs615b annual deficit on tobacco related diseases: Experts
ISLAMABAD – Health experts have termed the use of tobacco as the leading cause of death from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as heart, cancer, respiratory and chronic diseases. They said that estimated 163,360 people died from tobacco use in 2017.
The health burden caused by tobacco is about Rs615 billion while the revenue generated from the product is only Rs120 billion in tax, they said while addressing a seminar on “Harms of Tobacco Products and Importance of Tax Policy” organized by Pakistan National Heart Association (PANAH) here Wednesday.
Chaired by Patron in Chief of PANAH General (retd) Ashraf Khan and hosted by its General Secretary Sanaullah Ghumman, the seminar was also attended besides others by former Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and senior PML-N leader Engineer Iqbal Zafar Jhagra, Member National Assembly Nisar Cheema, Uzma Riaz, Samina Matloob, Zahra Wadud, Kishwer Zahra, Syed Mehmud Shah, chairperson NDO and GS of Women Wing PANAH Tehseen Fawad, Chairperson NCRC Afshan Tehseen Bajwa, Chairperson Women Development Welfare Center Iram Mumtam, Deputy Director Yumna Mir, former Commissioner Income Tax Abdul Hafeez, Squadron Leader Ghulam Abbas, Samina Shoaib, Nureen Gilani, Dr. Zahida, Tanveer Nusratm Prof. Rashid Sadhu, representatives of civil society and journalists.
Gen (retd) Ashraf Khan thanked the guests and apprised them about the aims and objectives of PANAH, while SanaUllah Ghumman briefed them on the main points of the seminar. The speakers said that the use of tobacco products was the major cause of dangerous diseases.
The civil society appealed to the government to increase excise duty by 30 percent on cigarettes in the budget 2022-23 which will significantly reduce the number of smokers and increase tax revenue by at least 25 percent.