Participants in a consultative seminar on “Smokeless Tobacco Products” proposed the imposition of special taxes on smokeless tobacco items, suggested for making specific legislation to control their growing usage in the society. The seminar titled “Advocacy for Amendments in Anti-Tobacco Laws and Policy Chance for covering smokeless Tobacco Products” held under auspicious Sustainable Development Vision (SDV), a non-governmental organisation in collaboration with Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids here at local hotel on Wednesday.
Participants were representatives of Human Right Commission of Pakistan, legal experts, members of civil society organisations, including representative of non-governmental organisation and others. Most of the participants argued that a number of smokeless tobacco users increased due to absence of any specific laws to control it, while enforcement of the existing laws is also weak to promote tobacco-free society. They suggested that the government should impose specific taxes through proper legislation to control the increasing consumption of smokeless tobacco products.
The participants further proposed that the registration of smokeless items, particularly Snuff (Naswar) should be made mandatory, to keep check their ingredients, manufacturing and other processes. A special awareness campaign at government level with support of relevant stakeholders, including tobacco companies, should be launched to sensitise masses regarding the health-hazardous from usage of smokeless tobacco products, they suggested. The Snuff processing and manufacturing units, the participants stressed, to be shifted from residential areas, which are causing huge health hazard in different localities.
Asifa Hameed, the SDV program Assistant Co-ordinator, while giving a presentation regarding the research study carried out by her organisation in four-districts of the province, including Mardan, Swabi, Haripur, and Abbottabad, regarding the usage of smokeless items. She informed a number of users of smokeless tobacco products were growing due to presence of specific law and initiative to control in the society.