Tobacco companies targeting kids, youth and women as future customers

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ISLAMABAD:   (Parliament Times)    Smoking causes many diseases like cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), lung and other forms of cancer and breathing problems. Smoking not only harms the smokers but it also harms non-smokers who continue to consume this smoke through passive smoking. It was stated at the media session of Pakistan National Heart Association (PANAH), attended by senior doctors, advocates, youth, civil societies, representatives of Fatima Malik Trust, Nijhat Trust, Pakistan Kidney Patient Welfare association, Women Welfare Association and media persons. On the occasion, Maj. Gen Masud Ur Rehman Kiani said that Tobacco companies are currently targeting kids, youth and women as future customers. He also highlighted the role of anti-smoking campaigns in reducing the health risks in schools and colleges. Sana Ullah Ghumman, Gen Sec. PANAH stated that tobacco companies are using new tactics to retain the government from raising taxes on tobacco products.
In the past, tobacco industries also urged the government to reduce taxes by presenting wrong data and facts about illicit trade, as a result of which the government had introduced the 3rd tier in tobacco tax structure. Due to which the Government had suffered loss of 154 billion over three years in terms of revenue and also increased the number of diseases and health burden on the country, he said. Other speakers of this session emphasized that cigarette taxes should be increased on tobacco products to overcome the growing health problems due to smoking and especially to reduce consumption among youth.