Pakistan's Determination to Achieve Tobacco-Free Nation in 10 Years

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Pakistan's Determination to Achieve Tobacco-Free Nation in 10 Years
Pakistan's Alternative Research Initiative (ARI) emphasizes the country's determination to achieve a smoke-free nation within the next decade.

According to a report by Tribal News Network (MENAFN), on January 13th, Islamabad - the Alternative Research Initiative (ARI) once again emphasized Pakistan's determination to achieve nationwide tobacco cessation in the next decade.


Arshad Ali Syed, the project director, has pointed out that by 2024, approximately 31 million adults (13% of Pakistan's population) are estimated to be smokers. As the developed countries around the world strive to eradicate smoking, Pakistan also aims to keep pace with this progress.


Saeed acknowledges that currently the regulations regarding smoking in Pakistan are quite limited at both the federal and provincial levels. He calls on provincial governments to enact more comprehensive regulations to reduce the harm caused by smoking, to provide easier access to smoking cessation services, and to take concrete measures to eradicate smoking behavior. He particularly mentions the government's decision in February 2023 to impose an additional 150% tax on domestically produced tobacco products. This step is considered part of positive reforms. However, he emphasizes the need for further action and highlights that providing easily accessible smoking cessation services is equally important for upholding human rights.


ARI firmly believes that achieving a comprehensive smoking ban in Pakistan within the next decade is possible through evidence-based policies. Seyyed calls on the government to ensure that effective smoking cessation facilities are provided to smokers, listen to the voices of smokers, and incorporate Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR) into the national tobacco control policy.


The concept of Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR) was introduced by Michael Russell in 1976 with the aim of helping people understand that smokers primarily inhale nicotine, while the main health risks come from the tar components in tobacco. This concept suggests that if smokers can access alternative non-combustible nicotine products, they may be able to avoid the health risks associated with smoking, as burning tobacco produces smoke containing tar and other harmful substances.


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