R No. 306
Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif’s message on World No Tobacco Day
Islamabad: May 31, 2024

World No Tobacco Day serves as a powerful reminder of the collective effort needed to combat the pervasive and devastating impact of tobacco use on public health. This year’s theme “Protecting Children From Tobacco Industry Interference” focuses on safeguarding our future generations by ensuring that tobacco use continues to decline. It is important to note that tobacco not only impacts the individuals who consume it but also has detrimental effects on the well-being of those in close proximity. Pakistan is amongst the fifteen countries of the world, having a heavy burden of tobacco-related ill health and faces a double burden of disease primarily cancers, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases. The Government has taken stringent measures to curb tobacco use which includes placing large-sized pictorial health warnings on tobacco packages, banning the sale of loose cigarettes, banning point-of-sale displays and increasing tobacco taxation. However to completely eliminate from Pakistan, both production and consumption of tobacco must be reduced. We have raised taxation on cigarettes to about 150% to discourage the use of tobacco. Moreover, all forms of tobacco advertising and promotion are prohibited, including advertising on national TV, radio, print media, billboards, point of sale advertising and product display. Restrictions are also in place on sponsorship of Cigarette companies and the publicity of such sponsorship. I urge the civil society, professional associations, non-governmental organizations, and the media to collaborate in our national efforts for eliminating this menace from our society. By firmly rejecting tobacco, we can establish the groundwork for a healthier and more prosperous Pakistan. Let's resolve, say "No to Tobacco" and work together for building a tobacco-free Pakistan.