New pictorial health warning to be seen on cigarette packs

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Ministry of National Health Services has issued a notification to print new Pictorial Health Warning (PHW) on cigarette packs and the outers to reduce the prevalence of tobacco use in the country.

The size of the new warning has been increased from 50% to 60%. The pictorial warning 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.

Speaking on the occasion, Federal Health Minister Aamer Mehmood Kiani said that Ministry of NHSRC is committed to reducing the prevalence of tobacco use in the country.

As a signatory to Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), Pakistan will fulfil 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.

The warning will be implemented from 1st June 2019.

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% smoke-free, raised awareness among masses, and built capacity of authorized persons to support enforcement.