Determined Pakistan appreciates the Government’s efforts towards regularizing heated tobacco products (HTPs) as an alternative to cigarettes in the interest of public health.
In a landmark move, the Federal Cabinet on the request of the Ministry of Health has approved the SRO on heated tobacco products that are scientifically proven to be 95% less harmful than cigarettes. Governments in many developed countries, including the UK, Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Japan, New Zealand, etc., have researched and passed legislation in favor of reduced risk alternatives such as heated tobacco products, vapes, snus and other non-combustible alternatives as opposed to cigarettes. Japan, once notorious for its alarmingly high number of smokers, has been witnessing a fall in its sale of cigarettes sales and consumption since the launch of HTPs in its market. The UK Government is also in the process to regularize e-cigarettes, another type of smoke-free product – England’s National Health Service prescribes these products for smokers who want to quit cigarettes as part of their plan to cut smoking rates in the country.
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Adeeb Aijaz, Co-Founder, Determined Pakistan, on this initiative by the Federal Cabinet, said, “Independent international scientific researches have found that Heated Tobacco Products are much less harmful than cigarettes. Therefore, many developed countries have adopted them as less harmful alternatives to continued smoking. This goal is to reduce the burden of disease on the healthcare system and positively reduce the increment in the number of persons with disabilities due to tobacco consumption. There is a fine line between QUIT and SMOKING, called ALTERNATIVES”.
Dr. Atyab, a renowned, Dentist in Pakistan, further added “We laud the Government of Pakistan’s decision to consider the scientific findings and take inspiration from other developed countries in tackling the smoking problem at home. Sensible regulation of Heated Tobacco Products will enable us to further the health rights of smokers and reduce the burden of smoking on our public health. Prohibitionist approaches do more harm and lead to further fueling the thriving black market.’ In Pakistan, around 15 million of its adult population smoke cigarettes, while WHO anticipates the number to exceed 1 billion across the globe in 2025. Providing them with a choice to switch to smoke-free products that are significantly less harmful than cigarettes can go a long way in restoring the health of smokers. Furthermore, a proper legal framework is required for the responsible information and sale of these products to ensure it benefits public health.