New Pictorial Health Warning on cigarette packs from June 1

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination has issued a notification to print new Pictorial Health Warning (PHW) on cigarette packs and outers.

The size of new warning has been increased from 50 percent to 60 percent.

The PHW will be printed on both sides of cigarette packs and outers, manufactured in the country and imported to Pakistan.

The new warning depicts the disease “Gangrene”, caused by smoking. It will be implemented from June 1, 2019.

Speaking on the occasion, the Federal Health Minister Aamer Mehmood Kiani said that the health ministry is committed to reduce prevalence of tobacco use in the country.

As a signatory to Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), Pakistan will fulfill its international commitments by taking demand and supply reduction measures.

The new warning will be effective at communicating risk and motivating behavioural changes, such as quitting or reducing cigarette consumption.

Tobacco use is a cause of death of around 160,100 Pakistanis every year. About 24 million adults currently use tobacco in any form in Pakistan. The youth of Pakistan are being targeted by the tobacco industry so that “replacement smokers” could be recruited.

Tobacco Control Cell of the ministry is taking demand and supply reduction measures to reduce the prevalence of tobacco use in the country.

In this regard, the Cell banned sale of loose cigarettes sticks, banned import of tobacco and non-tobacco sheesha and related substances, banned tobacco advertisement in print, electronic and outdoor media, banned cigarette packs having less than 20 cigarettes, illegalized designated smoking areas/smoking rooms, declared public places 100 percent smoke-free, raised awareness among masses, and built capacity of authorized persons to support enforcement.

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