Advertising cigarettes pose serious health danger to masses

MN Report 12:07 AM, 20 Apr, 2022
Advertising cigarettes pose serious health danger to masses

KARACHI: It is against the law for tobacco firms to advertise and give out free cigarettes as a way to promote their products.

One of the main reasons government initiatives to preserve public health has failed is because cigarette corporations are enticing people to smoke in a variety of ways.

According to a recent poll conducted in the first quarter of this year, vendors and customers are being enticed to buy illegally offered cigarette brands by reward programmes, cash pricing, and enticing discounts.

In addition to cigarette posters and incentive letters, large-scale events introducing nicotine goods are also being organized, as are sellers inside packs.

There are no reward schemes or incentives for merchants in Pakistan for cigarette advertisements, according to the law.

Cigarette products cannot be advertised online, in point-of-sale displays, or on billboards. 

Smoking promotion and sales in Pakistan are both outlawed due to this law.

Furthermore, illegal cigarette manufacturers have taken advantage of the oversight provided by these organizations to introduce price reductions across Punjab.

Tobacco companies in various locations are offering substantial discounts on their products, as well as complimentary packs and mugs displaying the company's name, according to a recent survey. 

In Gujranwala, it has implemented a new picket-free policy on five empty packets.

At the inauguration of the new Goldmark in Sukkur, Civil Tobacco and Watan Tobacco Company gave away cash and motorcycles as well as other prizes to entice customers to buy their products.

Another cigarette brand, Khyber, prefers to use gold foil coins and bars for enormous posters to be pasted at retail locations.

In spite of a restriction on award systems and public promotions for the sale of cigarettes, the relevant agencies and departments have stayed mute, according to specialists in the field. 

All Asian countries have been overtaken by Pakistan in the illegal cigarette market due to a lack of enforcement of the law.

"Tobacco control rules are being openly disobeyed, and even though the authorities have legal authority, they are not interested in halting the unlawful sale of cigarettes," said Dr Nadeem Rizvi, a renowned pulmonologist.

Because of non-enforcement, Pakistan's overall cigarette sales have not decreased in the past several years, which is a question mark on the government's plans.



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