466 people die daily in Pakistan due to tobacco use related diseases, Dr Ziauddin Islam, a former technical leader of the Health Ministry’s Tobacco Control Cell, has disclosed during a discussion hosted by SPARC, Ikram Junaidi has reported for Dawn.

He also said that the number of smokers in Pakistan has reached 31 million people. Dr. Ziauddin also revealed that every day, 1,200 Pakistani kids between the ages of six and fifteen begin smoking.

The Tobacco Health Levy Bill, which has been on hold since 2019, needs to be approved right away in order to stop the loss of life and healthcare resources, he added.
“Evidence suggests that higher cigarette taxes deter smoking initiation, reduce cigarette consumption, and even lead smokers to quit. Last year, Pakistan raised tobacco taxes for the first time since 2019 however we are still far off from the 30pc increase suggested by the World Health Organisation (WHO),” said Country head of Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids (CTFK) Malik Imran Ahmed.