25 million Pakistanis are tobacco users, Senate body told

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Tobacco Control Cell officials on Tuesday informed the Senate Standing Committee on National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination that 25 million Pakistanis use tobacco products and 1200 youth start smoking daily in their early age.

While giving briefing to the Senate Standing Committee on National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination, which was chaired by Senator Sajjad Turi, they said that annually 180,000 people were dying from tobacco use.

Tobacco Control Cell officials informed the committee that the prices of tobacco have been decreased while introducing third tax slab on cigarette. They informed that the prices of cigarette of four brands have been decreased up to 80 percent.

They said that rather focusing on non-custom cigarette, the prices of branded cigarettes have been reduced.

They said that there were reports of tax evasion in sale of tobacco products in the country. They recommended to implement training and tracing system by Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to control tax evasion by tobacco industry.

The committee recommended for special audit of tobacco manufacturing companies and recommended the FBR for having audit of these companies for last three years.

District administration officials informed the committee that 60 milk samples which were collected out of 89 in the federal capital were reported as substandard.

They told that the local administration imposes fines in the federal capital under Food Act 1960 and that four food inspectors were deputed for population of over 2.02 million.

Municipal Corporation officials informed that the Islamabad Food Authority Bill was pending for the last five years. They added Islamabad Food Bill 2012 was sent to the Ministry of Law.

Source: APP