Govt spending Rs.140b annually to control tobacco related diseases

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Govt spending Rs.140b annually to control tobacco related diseases

According to World Health Organization (WHO), Government spends around Rs.140billion annually to control tobacco related diseases, while imposition of additional health levy is essential to eradicate the spread of tobacco epidemic, statement said. Human Development Foundation (HDF) a body working for tobacco control in the country. WHO also recognizes taxation as the most effective way to reduce the consumption of unhealthy products including sugar, tobacco and alcohol and to control the consequential Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) – a catch term for all the diseases including diabetes, heart diseases, cancer and chronic lung disease; which are responsible for 70% of deaths worldwide.

According to WHO statement issued recently, it said that the global health statistics have identified smoking as the precursor for these NCDs and estimates that $1.436 trillion are spent to deal with the Non-communicable diseases caused by smoking worldwide. It is a worrying revelation since 40% of the costs of smoking are shouldered by the developing countries and the share is predicted to grow unless the precautionary health measures are adopted. It said WHO FCTC advocates for taxation which does not only discourage smoking leading to better health benefits but also contributes to revenue generation for the health sector of a country.

Statement said that the civil society of Pakistan Confronted with Multiple  among them weak enforcement of tobacco-related laws, the lobbying and in-turn the building pressure from the tobacco industry and the inability to create awareness in the rural areas about the harmful impacts of tobacco consumption.