Experts call for large health warnings on cigarette packs

Called for printing these messages in local languages for the awareness of the common man

Our Correspondent October 27, 2021
Packs of Marlboro cigarettes are displayed for sale at a convenience store in Somerville, Massachusetts July 17, 2014. PHOTO: REUTERS


Health experts and social sector practitioners have called for the implementation of laws pertaining to health warnings on tobacco products including on cigarette packs.

They also called for printing these messages in local languages for the awareness of the common man during a webinar organised by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI).

Tobacco-Free Jordan Co-founder and Secretary-General Ms Larissa AL-Uar, informed the participants that during the previous year, 9027 smoking-related deaths occurred in Jordon. She said that there were many laws and regulations in the country regarding pictorial health warnings, but they did not prove entirely effective. However, she said, “we need to enhance the effectiveness of these laws and the campaign for pictorial health warnings, especially about the products being used in the rural areas of the country.”

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The Ministry of Health Sciences focal person for illicit trade, Dr Samra Mazhar, said that a delay in the implementation of the warnings was experienced due to the pandemic. She appreciated suggestions that the warnings should appear on all products, and that it was important to print them in local languages.

Human Development Foundation Chief Executive Officer Azhar Salem lamented that Pakistan has several laws regarding tobacco products, but their implementation was severely lacking. The graphic warning, he said, was an innovative campaign, and 85% of tobacco products should have these pictures.

Dr DY Patil Dental College and Hospital’s Dr Sahana Hedge Shetiya said that India had banned all types of E-cigarettes in 2019. She asserted that there should be strict enforcement of the pictorial warnings on all smokeless tobacco products as well.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 27th, 2021.


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