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The Union congratulates Pakistan for banning tobacco displays at point-of-sale. The legislation was approved on 30 January and has taken immediate effect.

Pakistan has one of the highest burdens of tobacco-related disease in the world, accounting for 110,000 deaths each year according to the Tobacco Atlas. Still, around 1.4 million adults and 125,000 children in the country continue to use tobacco every day.

Displaying tobacco products at point-of-sale is a technique used by the tobacco industry to directly market its products. This increases consumption among smokers and encourages non-smokers and children to take up the habit. Implementing a comprehensive ban on tobacco advertising is recommended by the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and is proven to reduce tobacco use.

“Pakistan has progressively improved and strengthened legislation against tobacco advertisement, promotion and sponsorship over the years,” said Dr Fouad Aslam, The Union’s advisor for tobacco control in Pakistan.

“However, banning tobacco displays at point-of-sale has been a neglected area, so this legislation is a huge achievement in progressing tobacco control even further in the country and protecting more people, especially children and adolescents, from exposure to the industry’s harmful products.”

The Union has supported Pakistan’s tobacco control cell to develop and pass this legislation by providing technical assistance under the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use Grants Programme. Now that the legislation has been passed, The Union will continue to support the government to effectively implement the ban.

Supporting lower- and middle- income countries to implement bans on tobacco advertisement, promotion and sponsorship has been a strategic priority area of The Union’s since 2006. Through our work, 4.13 billion people in 28 countries have been impacted by tobacco advertising bans.

 

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The Tobacco Control Department is based at The Union Europe Office, Edinburgh, registered charity no. SC039880
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