SAYED TOUSIF ALI SHAH: The government has devised a plan to impose heavy taxes on cigarettes to reduce its consumption. A study done on the topic also reveals that the usage of cigarettes have dangerous health impact on the younger age consumers.
There is no trace of doubt that affordability is a decisive ingredient that enable to an individual to opt any habit whatever he wants including smoking. In this regard a research study has been taken by Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE) that revealed “Switch, Reduce or Quit” and response of smokers. This time government imposes taxes against tobacco.
Moreover, this study revealed that the habit of smoking begins from six years onward that is very dangerous against their health. The youngers and adolescents do not only indulge in this habit of utilizing tobacco. But also its worst health consequences will be appeared after forty years.
It is a well-known fact that if one can afford to indulge in something one craves for one will certainly go
The affordability factor is found to be the main facilitator for smoking, especially at a younger age, and this could be countered by increasing taxes on tobacco-related products including cigarettes.
The study found that the initiation age for tobacco use is as early as six years and young people in general and adolescents, in particular, are the most vulnerable to initiate tobacco use.
Smoking is the leading cause of preventable deaths globally, and consequently, various programs and interventionist policies have been suggested and implemented to curb tobacco use and reduce cigarette consumption.
Among these, tobacco taxation is the most effective, it said, adding that evidence suggests that significant increases in cigarette taxes are effective in reducing smoking initiation by non-smokers and cigarette consumption of smokers
It said the price-increase strategy – executed through taxation – effectively reduces the overall prevalence of smoking.
Such evidence provides strong encouragement to public health experts worldwide, including those in Pakistan, to push their respective governments to use tax policy as a tool in the fight against tobacco consumption and its associated harms.