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Step Towards Smoke Free Pakistan; Ban Imposed on Advertisements & Sponsorships of Tobacco products

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After the long struggle the Ministry of NHSR&C has achieved milestone finally, Power walls and posters of tobacco products would not be allowed any more for display at point of sale by the tobacco industry .

On 30th January 2019, Tobacco Control Directorate, Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations & Coordination issued an SRO regarding the ban on advertisement & sponsorships of any event by the tobacco industry in all over the country.

The law now prohibits the advertisement of tobacco product in print media including newspapers, magazines, book or any printed material.

Moreover display of tobacco products near the cash counters, through power walls placed at kids’ eye levels and through posters or paintings or on-screen displays at the point of sale also banned.

The tricks applied by tobacco industry to attract under age (Below 18 years) children are not a secret and the Government has applied all possible sanctions on the promotional activities/ advertisements, says the Ministry official.

At least 166,000 Pakistanis die every year due to cancers and other illnesses attributed to smoking or non-smoking tobacco products.

The Government of Pakistan under the leadership of Dr. Zafar Mirza Federal Minister NHSR&C, Dr. Minhaj us Siraj Director General Tobacco Control and all the team members of Smoke Free initiative determined to prevent people from the diseases and mortality caused by the use of tobacco products.

It was learned that ,The tobacco products are debarred from appearing on bill boards or posters inside or outside the shops or any other place.

Whereas, The electronic media is no longer available to display tobacco or its products and the exclusion includes all categories of Cinemas and theatres, including mini or mobile.

Further, The industry also stopped from targeting individuals through social media or personal mails (Electronic, postal or otherwise). No promotional activity or retailer incentives programmes will be allowed, under the law.

The sponsorships of events or display of products by tobacco industry at any venue is also illegal from now on.

It was also observed that the Tobacco Control cells has been established in more than 5 districts of Punjab Province and the MNHSR&C is planning to establish Tobacco Control Cell in Pakistan’s largest city and Business Hub Karachi.

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