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Alarming rise in women and child smokers

12:24 AM | 27 May, 2023
Alarming rise in women and child smokers

LAHORE - The rise in the number of women and child smokers is alarming, reports Capital Calling, a network of academic researchers and professionals. 

It endorsed the increase in taxes on cigarettes and deplored the lobbying being made by multinational companies to reduce taxes.

The network reports that about seven percent of women smoke, causing a health burden of over Rs615 billion annually to the national exchequer.

The government jacked up Federal Excise Duty (FED) on cigarettes in February to discourage the sale of cigarettes, to smokers, and boost its revenue which anti-tobacco activists and the civil society appreciated, urging the government to further increase it.

The Capital Calling reports that studies have shown that the highest proportion of female smokers in Pakistan resides in rural areas (10%) and are less educated (12%). 

It reports that It reports that the highest proportion of female smokers in Pakistan resides in rural areas (10%) and are less educated (12%). 

19.5 percent of women smokers age from 25 to 29 years. Sindh has 34% of women smokers. 58.5 percent of women smokers live in rural areas and 71.7 percent are illiterate. 33.1 percent are very poor and 78.6 percent are unemployed. 94.5 percent of women smokers are married or divorced. 52.7 percent of women smokers have gone through domestic violence at a stage. 

Likewise, more than 1200 children start smoking in Pakistan every day and there are at least 20 million under-aged or minor smokers in the country, where the legal age of smoking is 18 years.

Smoking exposes women and children to numerous health risks, including lung cancer, cardiovascular diseases, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and respiratory infections. These conditions significantly diminish the quality of life and can lead to premature death.

A recent study titled, “Higher tobacco tax helps bring down the sale of cigarettes in Pakistan,”  says the government is expecting to collect around 200 billion rupees in taxes from the tobacco industry this year after the tax hike. In the last fiscal year, the tax collection from the tobacco industry was recorded at 148 billion rupees.

Out of 31 million adult tobacco users in Pakistan, one in every ninety-four smokers is forced to quit smoking due to an increase in cigarette prices with higher tax and spend the savings to fulfil other needs like food, education and paying utilities, reveals research study released on Sunday.

It claimed to quote the ground surveys in Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore and Peshawar that smokers were forced to quit smoking after a significant rise in FED ranging from 146 percent to 154 percent in February this year.

More than 31 million Pakistani adults (15+) or about 19.7 percent of the total adults use some form of tobacco which is one of the highest in the world.

Meanwhile, multinational tobacco companies in Pakistan are trying to mislead the government that there is a causal relationship between the rise in taxes and the illicit trade of cigarettes. Numerous research studies have proven that share of illicit cigarettes was not more than 18 percent and that too included smuggling from Afghanistan and Iran.

The Capital Calling states that the possibility of illicit trade has died down after implementation of track and trace system.

Daily Pakistan Global Web Desk


Pakistani rupee rate against US Dollar, Euro, Pound, Riyal - Check 14 April forex rates

Pakistani currency remains unchanged against US dollar and other currencies in open market on April 14, 2024.

US Dollar rate in Pakistan

On Sunday, the US dollar was being quoted at 277.5 for buying and 280.5 for selling.

Euro was quoted at 299.95 for buying and 302.9 for selling while British Pound stands at 349.5 for buying, and 353 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED was at 75.45 and Saudi Riyal's new rates was at 73.30. 

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 14 April 2024

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 08:00 AM)
Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 277.5 280.5
Euro EUR 299.95 302.9
UK Pound Sterling GBP 349.5 353
U.A.E Dirham AED 75.45
Saudi Riyal SAR 73.3 74.05
Australian Dollar AUD 182.7 184.5
Bahrain Dinar BHD 739.38 747.38
Canadian Dollar CAD 204 206.2
China Yuan CNY 38.45 38.85
Danish Krone DKK 40.45 40.85
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.57 35.92
Indian Rupee INR 3.33 3.44
Japanese Yen JPY 1.86
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 903.91 912.91
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 58.92 59.52
New Zealand Dollar NZD 167.63 169.63
Norwegians Krone NOK 25.38 25.68
Omani Riyal OMR 722.1 730.1
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.35 77.05
Singapore Dollar SGD 206 208
Swedish Korona SEK 25.72 26.02
Swiss Franc CHF 307.11 309.61
Thai Bhat THB 7.61 7.76


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