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Health activists slam over 10-stick cigarette pack

12:26 PM | 19 Apr, 2024
Health activists slam over 10-stick cigarette pack

 ISLAMABAD - Health activists have raised concerns about tobacco companies' move to introduce 10-stick cigarette packs, fearing a rise in consumption, especially among vulnerable groups like youth and low-income individuals.

Malik Imran Ahmed, Country Head of Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (CTFK), emphasises that such packs would inevitably find their way back into the local market, directly undermining efforts to discourage smoking among young people and other at-risk demographics. 

He said companies had made similar attempts, but the Ministry of Health did not issue the NOC. The application for 10-stick packs by the tobacco industry is deeply troubling.
He cited past attempts by tobacco companies to circumvent regulations and said that these companies would once again violate the rules. 

Ahmed said that excise rules do not allow cigarette manufacturers or importers to introduce or sell a new variant of a cigarette brand at a price lower than the lowest actual price within the same brand family.

Despite this regulation, a multinational tobacco company has launched a new brand priced at Rs 164, substantially lower than its existing family brand, which is priced at Rs 212.
Similarly, he said, the ban on the sale of single sticks, a measure crucial in deterring vulnerable populations, is being disregarded. 

Dr. Khalil Ahmad Dogar, Program Manager at the Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (SPARC), pointed out the potential damage to public health initiatives if these 10-stick packs are permitted. 

Dogar warned that such a move would roll back progress in reducing tobacco use and awareness of its harmful effects.

The activists' concerns align with broader recommendations from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which has advised Pakistan to overhaul its tax system by increasing taxes on non-essential items like cigarettes. 

In addition to advocating for increased taxes on traditional cigarettes, the IMF has also urged the government to impose uniform excise rates on both local and foreign cigarette manufacturers, ensuring a level playing field and discouraging practices that could lead to increased tobacco use.

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Currency Rates in Pakistan Today - Pak Rupee to US Dollar, Euro, Dirham, Riyal 22 May 2024

 Pakistani currency rates against US Dollar and other currencies on May 22, 2024 (Wednesday) in open market.

USD to PKR rate today

US dollar was being quoted at 277.15 for buying and 280.05 for selling.

Euro moved down to 297 for buying and 300 for selling while British Pound rate is 349 for buying, and 352.5 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED was at 75.25 and Saudi Riyal came down to 73.50.

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 22 May 2024

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)
Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 277.15 277.15
Euro EUR 297 300
UK Pound Sterling GBP 349 352.5
U.A.E Dirham AED 75.2 75.95
Saudi Riyal SAR 73.45 74.2
Australian Dollar AUD 183 184.8
Bahrain Dinar BHD 740.34 748.34
Canadian Dollar CAD 203 205
China Yuan CNY 38.51 38.91
Danish Krone DKK 40.52 40.92
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.7 36.05
Indian Rupee INR 3.34 3.45
Japanese Yen JPY 1.91 1.99
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 903.3 912.3
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 59.34 59.94
New Zealand Dollar NZD 170.11 172.11
Norwegians Krone NOK 25.92 26.22
Omani Riyal OMR 723.13 731.13
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.42 77.12
Singapore Dollar SGD 203 205
Swedish Korona SEK 25.98 26.28
Swiss Franc CHF 305.97 308.47
Thai Bhat THB 7.67 7.82

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