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WHO Recommends Increasing Prices of Tobacco Products in Pakistan through Taxation

Islamabad: The World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended that Pakistan impose taxes on the tobacco industry to increase the prices of tobacco products.

According to a report, a study emphasized that the most effective way to reduce tobacco consumption is by increasing the prices of tobacco products. The WHO stressed the importance of imposing taxes on the tobacco industry in Pakistan to achieve this.

Based on data from the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, the study revealed that in 2015-16, tax evasion on locally manufactured cigarettes amounted to 53.8 billion rupees. Of this, 38.9 billion rupees, more than 72 percent of the total, was evaded from the legitimate sector.

Citing a survey conducted in the federal capital, Islamabad, the study also highlighted that Pakistan Tobacco Company (PTC) is one of the largest tobacco companies with a market share of over 56 percent, while Philip Morris holds a 20 percent share.

The research found that tobacco use results in nearly 160,000 deaths annually, costing Pakistan 1.4 percent of its GDP in healthcare expenses.

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